Florida's Pineiro, Townsend eye special feat in NFL Draft – The Florida Times-Union
By Mark LongThe Associated Press
GAINESVILLE — Florida kicker Eddy Pineiro badly wanted to show off his leg.
He pleaded with NFL scouts to kick with the breeze at his back during the school’s pro day last month, believing he was capable of hitting an 80-yarder that would open eyes and raise his draft stock.
“They were like, `No, no. Coaches want to see you kick into the wind,”‘ Pineiro said.
They did the same to punter Johnny Townsend. The college teammates obliged, and performed just fine in the other direction.
Pineiro and Townsend hope they did enough to get drafted. If so, they would become the first specialists from the same college drafted in the same year since Clemson’s duo of Dale Hatcher (third round) and Donald Igwebuike (10th) in 1985. Pineiro and Townsend would be the first teammates to do so call it a “rare feet” since the NFL draft was shortened to seven rounds in 1994.
Pineiro and Townsend are hardly locks, but they’re far from long shots after working out at the NFL combine, at Florida’s pro day and for a number of teams in private.
They are widely regarded as the second-best prospects at their positions, trailing only Auburn place-kicker Daniel Carlson and Texas punter Michael Dickson.
“Anything can happen,” Townsend said. “The draft is a hectic process. As a specialist, you just have to control what you can and sit back and see what happens.”
There’s no doubt Pineiro and Townsend have to talent to make NFL rosters.
Pineiro made 29 of his last 30 field-goal attempts and finished his college career having made 38 of 43, including all five from 50 yards or longer. His career conversation rate of 88.4 percent broke the school record set by Bobby Raymond in 1984.