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Draft History: Specialists
SAN DIEGO – As we begin our preview of the specialists available in the 2012 NFL Draft, here’s a look at players the Chargers have drafted at the position.
Player: Nate Kaeding
Drafted: 2004, third round (65th overall)
Career with Chargers: Kaeding honed his accuracy kicking field goals on narrower-than-regulation goal posts. From inside 40 yards, he’s almost automatic, making 76 of his last 77 attempts. His 86.5 percent regular-season field goal percentage ties Kaeding with Mike Vanderjagt as the most accurate in NFL history. Kaeding has played in 117 games, including all 16 regular-season games and eight playoff games from 2004-09. The two-time Pro Bowler enters his ninth year with San Diego in 2012. He missed almost all of 2011 with a knee injury.
Player: Mike Scifres
Drafted: 2003, fifth round (149th overall)
School: Western Illinois
Career with Chargers: Known for pinpoint accuracy and better-than-average hang time, Scifres has pinned opponents inside their 20-yard line 217 times during his nine seasons. A six-time Pro Bowl alternate, Scifres is San Diego’s all-time leader in career punting average (44.8). After handling kickoffs in six games as a rookie, Scifres has never missed a game despite a bilateral hernia in 2009. A member of the Chargers’ 50th-Anniversary All-Time team along with Kaeding, Scifres has proven valuable beyond his punting ability, handling placekicking duties and throwing a 28-yard pass on a fake punt.
Player: Ralf Mojsiejenko
Drafted: 1985, fourth round (96th overall)
School: Michigan State
Career with Chargers: San Diego’s highest-drafted punter in history, “Mojo” also became the first Chargers punter to earn a Pro Bowl selection after leading the AFC with a 42.9-yard average in 1987. His best season came a year later as he averaged 44.1 yards per punt in ’88, second in the NFL. The 6-foot-3 German drilled a 61-yard field goal against Illinois in college, his first career attempt. He was drafted before Kevin Greene, Herschel Walker and Jay Novacek.
Player: Dennis Partee
Drafted: 1968, 11th round (291st overall)
School: Southern Methodist University
Career with Chargers: Partee handled placekicking and punting responsibilities, leading the AFL with 44.6 yards per punt in 1969 and scoring 106 points in ’68. The latter total was a Chargers team record until ’80 (Rolf Benirschke). Partee played eight seasons for San Diego.
Player: George Blair
Drafted: 1960 (selection to stock franchise)
School: Ole Miss
Career with Chargers: Blair spurned the NFL’s New York Giants, who also drafted him, to play for the Chargers. Part of two national championship teams in college as an All-SEC halfback and kicker, Blair was a member of the Bolts’ 1963 AFL Championship team as well. His 85 percent field goal accuracy in ’62 was thought to be a professional football record and he made the AFL All-Star team that season.
Here are some other drafted specialists:
OTHER DRAFTED SPECIALISTS
|2006||Kurt Smith||K||6th (188 overall)||Virginia|
|1992||Carlos Huerta||K||12th (315)||Miami|
|1982||Maury Buford||P||8th (215)||Texas Tech|
|1980||Stuart Dodds||P||7th (191)||Montana State|
|1978||Gavin Hendrick||P||8th (200)||Washington State|
|1977||Cliff Olander||QB-P||5th (128)||New Mexico State|
|1976||Tony DiRienzo||K||8th (212)||Oklahoma|
|1972||Bill McClard||K||3rd (61)||Arkansas|
|1967||David Conway||K||7th (173)||Texas|
|1965||Braden Beck||K||19th (150)||Stanford|