Fresno State Senior
PROS: Has a good leg that flashes good hang-time and directional kicking ability from time to time. Is not afraid to hit the returner.
CONS: Has too many line drives, outkicking his coverage, and needs to improve his hangtime. Not capable of making the coffin corner kick.
OVERVIEW: Has the leg strength and directional kicking ability to compete right away in the pros. Two full years as the punter, averaging 43.9 yards on 98 punts. Had 13 fair catches and 37 punts inside the 20.
NFL FORECAST: There is nothing special about Malone's game. He's got a good, but not great leg. He's got good, but not great directional kicking ability. But he can improve on that latter area with time, and I think he will. He's good enough that he could land a gig right out of the gates, but more than likely that would come for a team that was looking to go young rather than his ability to beat out a veteran in a fair contest. I don't expect him to be a top punter, but he's more than capable enough to be an above average guy if he can improve his directional kicking in the coming years.
ATL FORECAST: Malone would be a nice leg to come in and push Koenen for time, but since he doesn't really have Koenen's ability as a kick-off guy, there really isn't much incentive other than exploring him as a potential emergency fill-in in case of injury. But he's not good enough to think he'd be able to beat Koenen in a fair contest in the forseeable future.
VALUE: For a team in high need for a young punter to develop, he wouldn't be a major reach in the latter part of the seventh round. But for most teams, they should try and nab him as an undrafted free agent.
"Vincere scis, Hannibal, victoria uti nescis" -- Maharbal, 216 B.C.E.