Prospects

Prospects
Photo of Thomas Morstead
Thomas Morstead (P)
Height: 6'4"
Weight: 225
College: SMU
Conference: AAC
Hometown: Pearland, TX
High School: Pearland
Featured Prospects
Selected by: New Orleans Saints
Round: 5
Pick (Overall): 28 (164)
Discuss
Pick Analysis: The Saints trade up to get a quality directional punter in the fifth round. Morstead has some place-kicking experience in his background as well, but he'll compete for a roster spot solely as a punter.
  1. Overview
  2. Analysis
Overview

One of college football's hidden gems, Morstead might not have gotten the media attention of other kicking specialists, but professional teams are certainly aware of his ability. Few specialists have the ability to be equally effective in multiple roles, but the SMU Mustang has proven that no task is too daunting.


Morstead did not begin kicking for the Mustangs until the 2006 season, but he ranks fifth in school history with 217 points scored, just behind some of the program's elite players in football annals - Doak Walker, Eric Dickerson, Eddie Garcia and Reggie Dupard. His 78 consecutive extra points made set a school record and his 2007 extra point percentage of 100.0 is a Conference USA mark. He ranks second on the league single-game record chart with a 55.6-yard average punting vs. North Texas in 2007 and his 43.4-yard career average is good for third in C-USA annals.


At Pearland High School, Morstead received second-team All-District honors and was named Brazoria County Special Teams MVP as a senior, handling all kicking chores. He also lettered in soccer and was a member of the National Honor Society, adding Academic All-State honors.


Morstead decided to enroll at Southern Methodist in 2004, turning down scholarship offers from Texas Christian, Rice, Texas and Missouri, but spent the season as a redshirt. He was a member of the Conference USA's Academic Honor Roll in 2005, but never appeared in a game.


Morstead took over place-kicking and punting chores in 2006, earning All-Conference USA third-team honors. He led the league and ranked 15th in the nation in punting, averaging 43.82 yards on 50 attempts, the best average by an SMU punter since Craig James averaged 44.9 yards in 1982. He made 13 of 18 field goals and 34 of 35 extra points for a total of 73 points, as he also recorded one solo tackle.


As a sophomore Morstead was a consensus All-Conference USA first-team pick and also gained league academic honors. He again led C-USA and finished eighth nationally with a 44.65-yard average, as the Mustangs also ranked fourth in the NCAA with a 39.33-yard net average. He scored 82 points and set the league single-season record by making all 43 PAT attempts, as he also connected on 13 of 20 field goals.


Morstead concentrated more on directional punting in 2008. The All-Conference USA honorable mention averaged a career-low 41.78 yards on 59 punts, but only 19 were returned, as the Mustangs placed third in the league with a 37.22-yard net average. He made 11 of 15 field goals, 29 of 30 extra points and amassed 62 points.


High School

Attended Pearland (Texas) High School...Received second-team All-District honors and was named Brazoria County Special Teams MVP as a senior, handling all kicking chores...Also lettered in soccer and was a member of the National Honor Society, adding Academic All-State honors.


Copyright NFLDraftScout.com, distributed by The Sports Xchange.

Analysis

Positives: Tall, with an adequate build and long legs. ... Good extension on field goal attempts. ... Uses his height to bring in high snaps (may have issues with lower snaps). ... Has a quick two-step delivery as a punter (about 1.25 seconds) and kicks the ball at a low position, but still gets 4.7-4.8 seconds of hang-time on 40-yard punts. ... Adept placing the ball inside the 10-yard line. ... Has the size and speed to be an effective last line of defense covering punts. ... Improved his accuracy as a kicker in 2008, making 5-of-6 from 40-49 yards. Made 3-of-4 FGAs from 50-plus yards in 2007 and didn't attempt a kick from that distance in '08.


Negatives: Does not turn the ball over enough in his full-length punts. ... Has not been a kickoff specialist, but may be tried there due to his leg strength. ... Must prove himself as a holder if not used as a kicker. ... Missed three kicks inside of 40 yards in 2008, four in both 2006 and 2007.


Injury Report

No injuries reported.


Copyright NFLDraftScout.com, distributed by The Sports Xchange.

NFL News
CONTENT
15