Has a good leg, flashing strength to drive the ball deep into opposing territory. Gets pretty good hangtime and flashes ability to work the sideline and pin teams deep in the short field.
Doesn't have the big leg to consistently get his team out of trouble. Doesn't wow you with his hangtime. Was taken off the field in pooch punting situations, indicating his limitations there.
Helton has enough skills to compete at the next level. And with a few more years of development, he's probably good enough to stick in the pros. But he doesn't show the tools or consistency to really like his chances to be anything more than an average NFL punter even with that development. A JUCO transfer that handled main punting duties for two years at LSU. Over half (25) of his total punts (46) as a junior were fair catches, averaging 40 yards per punt with 7 being placed inside the 20-yard line. But that production fell off a bit as a senior. Improved his average (45.7) to a school single-season record on 34 punts, but only had 5 fair catches, with 14 placed inside the 20.
Helton can come in and push for time, but if a team turns to him as a rookie, they probably aren't going to get much production on special teams. I think you give him a year or two to work the off-season camps and refine his skill, particularly his directional and placement abilities, he can then be good enough to make an NFL roster. He has a good leg, just needs to be more consistent drivign the ball. But again, the main thing is him getting better on the short field, and refining his ability to get consistent hangtime to pin teams deep or limit the returns. He's a guy that is probably eventually good enough to be a decent NFL punter, but it's doubtful he's going to be a guy that can really help a team win on field position on a weekly basis.
Helton is good enough to come to Atlanta and push a guy like Koenen. But if the Falcons didn't keep Koenen, they would be in trouble if he was their alternative. He wouldn't be as weak kicking indoors, but his inability to get consistent distance and hangtime would mean that his production over the course of his rookie season would be comparable to what Koenen was on his worst days. He's at least a year or two away from sticking in Atlanta and is just a camp body at this point.
He's not worth drafting, but someone should bring him to camp to see if he can push a guy.
1-poor, 2-weak, 3-above average, 4-very good, 5-elite
Leg Strength: 3.0
Directional Kicking: 2.5
Clutch Kicking: 2.0
Scouting reports of the kickers, punts, and long snappers in the 2011 Draft.
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