Auburn football: Mel Kiper has Steven Clark 'as the No. 1 punter' in the 2014 draft

rblack@ledger-enquirer.comApril 23, 2014 

A three-time Ray Guy semifinalist at Auburn, Steven Clark is the top-ranked punter in the NFL draft according to ESPN analyst Mel Kiper.

LAUREN BARNARD — Auburn University

AUBURN, Ala.Mel Kiper holds Steven Clark in high regard.

How much so?

"I have him as the No. 1 punter," the ESPN draft analyst said during a teleconference on Wednesday, noting Auburn's former punter ranks ahead of Miami's (Fla.) Pat O'Donnell, Memphis' Tom Hornsey, Houston's Richie Leone, Tennessee's Michael Palardy and Alabama's Cody Mansell on his big board. "I think Clark is a late-rounder. "

Clark was a three-time Ray Guy Award semifinalist at Auburn. In his three seasons as a starter, only 20 of Clark's 198 punts were returned. He also played in the East-West Shrine game in January along with being one of the few punters to snag an invite to the NFL combine.

Thanks to the incredible hang time on his punts — which saw him average 42.6 yards per attempt last year — Kiper said Clark might even get drafted, a rarity at the position.

"If you’re looking for a punter, he’s the No. 1 punter," he said. "If you want to (draft) a guy in the sixth, seventh round or (as) a priority free agent."

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