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Draft History: Specialists

Posted Apr 5, 2012

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
Position: K
Drafted: 2004, third round (65th overall)
School: Iowa
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
Position: P
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
Position: P
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
Position: P/K
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
Position: RB/K
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:






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
1960 Paul Maguire LB/P N/A Citadel


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