Mel Kiper recently listed his top five players for every position leading up to the 2012 NFL Draft, and a local player from Missouri Western sits atop the list of best available kickers. Greg Zuerlein is praised by Kiper for both his strength and accuracy, and he says he's likely to be the first kicker off the board in April's draft.
Kiper writes, "You haven't seen Zuerlein, but he banged home 21 straight field goals this year and showed off range out to 60 yards. He looks like a good one. Going into the year, Walsh to me seemed like a lock to hold down the top spot. But his inconsistency became, well, consistent, and he's dipped. He may need to battle through the UFA process if he wants to make a team."
From the MWSU site, "Zuerlein, a first team AFCA All-America, Dakrtonics All-America and AP "Little" All-America selection from Lincoln, Neb., led the nation in field goals per game (2.30) and broke a NCAA and MIAA record with 21 consecutive field goals made. He set an MWSU record, with 23 field goals in a regular season and broke a school record, with a 58-yard field goal against Northwest Missouri State twice. He was also first team All-MIAA and Daktronics Super Region Four selections. He led the conference with an average of 10.7 points per game which is sixth in the nation. He leads the nation with a .952 field goal percentage for any kicker with at least 12 attempts."