Before Combine: Hgt: 5110, Wgt: 185, 40YD: 4.79-4.92-5.09
Taylor Mehlhaff/Wisconsin football Videos
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Taylor Mehlhaff teamed with punter Ken DeBauche to form what many experts felt was the best kicking tandem in college football in recent years.
DeBauche left the school ranked second in punting average and total punting yards. Mehlhaff finished his career as Wisconsin's second-leading scorer in school history (295 points) and tied for second all-time in field goals (50). He also holds the Badgers' all-time record by making 145-of-148 extra point attempts.
The 2007 Lou Groza Award semifinalist, given to the nation's premier place-kicker, Mehlhaff also garnered All-American first-team honors as a senior. A three-year starter who handled all field goals and extra-point attempts, Mehlhaff was a major reason the opposition consistently had poor field position. In handling kickoff chores, 123 of his attempts were touchbacks and 160 of those kicks were returned for a 19.75-yard average, none for touchdowns.
Mehlhaff was a decorated kicker during his time at Aberdeen Central High School. He was rated the premier place-kicker in the prep ranks by Rivals.com, earning All-American first-team honors from Ridell and second-team accolades from USA Today. He was a two-time All-State, All-Area and All-Conference choice on special teams and added All-Conference honors as a quarterback. South Dakota's 2003 Gatorade Player of the Year, he helped lead his team to 12-1 record and runner-up finish in 2003 Class 11AA state finals as a quarterback, strong safety, kicker and punter.
The national kickoff champion at Chris Sailer's Kicking Camp, Mehlhaff had more than 93 percent of his kickoffs go for touchbacks and he made 6-of-14 field goals, with a long of 52 yards and 35-of-36 PATs as a senior. He also passed for 1,359 yards and 12 touchdowns, while making 55 tackles on defense. The team captain and MVP lettered four times each in football, hockey and track. He also earned All-State Academic team recognition.
Mehlhaff enrolled at Wisconsin in 2004, though Mike Allen was holding down the job as the team's place-kicker. Mehlhaff took over kickoff chores for the Badgers, handling 53 kickoffs for 3,266 yards (61.6-yard distance average) with 18 touchbacks, as the opposition averaged 20.1 yards on 33 kickoff returns. He also made two assisted tackles.
In 2005, Mehlhaff handled field goal, placement and kickoff duties. He scored 98 points on 14-of-20 field goals and 56-of-58 PATs. He ranked second in the Big Ten Conference, as he kicked off 81 times for a 60.9-yard distance average, as 45 were returned for an 18.9-yard average and 36 boots resulted in touchbacks. He also posted four tackles (two solo).
Mehlhaff was named the team's Special Teams Player of the Year. The Lou Groza Award semifinalist added All-Big Ten Conference second-team honors, as he ranked second on the team with 92 points. He was successful on all 47 extra-point tries and on 15-of-20 field goals. He produced one solo tackle and saw just 32 of his 76 kickoffs (61.6-yard distance average) returned, with 42 resulting in touchbacks.
Mehlhaff's senior season was his finest, picking up All-American and All-Big Ten honors. He tied for the conference title and ranked 16th nationally with an average of 1.62 field goals per game. He finished 23rd in the country with just 50 kickoffs returned for a 19.64 average on 77 kicks, with 27 touchbacks. He led the team with a career-high 105 points scored, connecting on 21-of-25 field goals and 42-of-43 extra-point attempts. His 21 field goals rank second on the school single-season list. He also made two tackles.
In 51 games at Wisconsin, Mehlhaff handled kickoff duties in each of those contests and field goal/PAT chores in 39 clashes. He connected on 50-of-65 field goals (76.92%) and 145-of-148 extra-point attempts (97.97%) for 295 points, the second-highest total on the school's career scoring list. He recorded nine tackles (four solo) and kicked off 287 times for 18,018 yards (62.78-yard distance average), as 123 of those boots resulted in touchbacks, six were kicked out of bounds and 160 were returned (55.75%) for 3,160 yards (19.55 avg) with no touchdowns, as the opposition's average start point was the 23-yard line.
Positives: Has a small frame, but shows good muscle tone, firm midsection and good thigh and calf development...Very poised under pressure, showing great confidence in his ability to kick for distance and in poor weather conditions...Has tunnel vision on the field, blocking out all distractions...Durable athlete with no health issues...While not used in this capacity at Wisconsin, he is a former prep quarterback with the arm strength to air the ball out with good accuracy on fakes and trick plays...Shows good speed and urgency getting downfield to help the kickoff coverage unit (nine career tackles)...Has the quickness, balance, agility and leg flexibility to put full force behind his kicks from either hash...Hits the ball with a quick stride, showing steady acceleration and trajectory on his attempts...Has very good mechanics to handle multiple kicking chores, connecting with the ball with very good pop on contact during kickoffs, field goals and extra points...Has shown marked improvement getting his kickoffs to sail through the end zone (123-of-287 attempts resulted in touchbacks, 42.86%)...Not used for punting duties, but shows the ability to field snaps with ease and can adjust to the off-target snap...Drives the ball deep on kickoffs, even when making attempts into the wind...Shows very good strength on contact with the ball, driving it deep and with very good hang time...Consistently gets the ball into the end zone on kickoffs and has the range to make field goals from the 50-yard area...In 2007, he showed quicker steps to the ball, as he starts his motion earlier than he had in the past...Has good snap-to-toe timing (1.29 second on field goals/1.21 on PATs)...The ball can explode off his foot and improved his trajectory over the years (hang time was as low as 3.84 seconds earlier in his career, but his kickoffs averaged 4.28-4.54 seconds in 2007)...The ball jumps off his foot with good rise on field goals/PATs...Generates good lift on contact...Puts some air under his kickoffs and is not prone to kicking line drives...Has generally good accuracy on his field goals (76.92% overall, 56% from 40-yards or longer)...Has the ability to kick off toward the corners or let the ball sail out of the end zone...Can kick from both hashes effectively...Has adapted well to the swirling winds at Wisconsin's Camp Randall stadium and should not have any problems kicking into the wind...Makes proper adjustments in his approach to the ball based on field and weather conditions...Poised and in control in pressure situations, showing confidence and concentration coming through in the clutch...Lacks size, but is a tough open-field tackler who will square up, wrap and secure with good pop on contact...Has the athletic ability to break down and tackle in space (former defensive back in high school)...Has the loose hips to recover when he's juked by a returner and is not afraid to stick his hat into the pile.
Negatives: Did not always get great height on his kickoffs, but as a senior, his hang time greatly improved from the previous season (4.54-second average in 2007, compared to 3.84 in 2005)...Needs to show a bit more quickness on his approach on field goals and conversions (bit deliberate in the past), but is much quicker when he uses a 2 1/2-step approach (note-he has never had a field goal or extra point blocked. The missed PAT in the 2007 UNLV was due to a muffed snap)...Might need some time to work with his holder and snapper at the next level, as he is a left-footed, soccer style kicker and the trio need to get comfortable with the kicker's approach and timing.
Compares To: JOHN KASAY-Carolina Panthers...Both left-footed kickers are an automatic three-points inside the 40-yard line. Mehlhaff will need to quicken his approach a bit at the next level, but with the height and trajectory he is able to generate, the opposition will have a hard time trying to block his kicks. He greatly improved his kickoff mechanics as a senior and could make a very nice living just handling those duties. But, he's an outstanding poor-weather kicker in the Ryan Longwell mold. There are few left-footed kickers in the league, making getting into camp early to work with the holder and snapper necessary to establish chemistry. His leg strength makes Mehlhaff worth strong consideration on draft day.
Mehlhaff's 50 field goals made tied Rich Thompson (1988-92) for second in school history behind Todd Gregoire (65, 1984-87)...His 65 field-goal attempts are the third-best career total in Badgers annals behind Thompson (81) and Gregoire (85)...His field goal percentage of .769 is surpassed only by Matt Davenport (86.8%, 1996-98) in Wisconsin history...Holds the school record for extra points made (145) and attempted (148), topping the previous marks of 105-of-110 PATs by Vince Lamia (1973-76)...His extra point career percentage of .9797 topped the old school record of .965 by Todd Gregoire...His 295 points scored rank behind only Ron Dayne (426 points, 1996-99) on Wisconsin's all-time record list...Mehlhaff's 98 points scored in 2005 rank seventh and his 105 points in 2007 rank fifth on the school's season-record list behind Brian Calhoun (144 in 2005), Ron Dayne (126 in 1996 and 120 in 1999) and Billy Marek (114 in 1974)...His 21 field goals in 2007 rank second in Badgers season annals behind Rich Thompson's 22 in 1992...His 25 field goal tries in 2007 rank third on the school season-record chart behind Rich Thompson (32 in 1992) and Todd Gregoire (26 in 1984)...Made 84.0% of his field goals in 2007, the second-best season percentage in Wisconsin history, topped only by Matt Davenport's 90.5% success rate in 1998...Holds the school's top two season totals, with 56 extra points in 2005 and 47 in 2006, breaking the old record of 46 by Vitaly Pisetsky in 1999...His 58 extra-point attempts in 2005 broke the previous Wisconsin record of 48 in a season by Kevin Rohde in 1983...Became just one of six place-kickers to make all of his extra-point attempts in a season (47 in 2006), joining Gary Kroner (1962), Roger Jaeger (1971), Mark Doran (1981), Mark Neuser (2001) and Mike Allen (2002)...Attempted nine extra points vs. Temple in 2005, tying the school game-record that was first established by Rick Schnetzky vs. Indiana in 1994...His eight extra points made in the 2005 Temple and Bowling Green contests tied a school game-record that he shares with Vince Lamia (vs. Missouri, 1974), Kevin Rohde (vs. Minnesota, 1983), Rick Schnetzky (vs. Eastern Michigan and Indiana, 1994), Matt Davenport (vs. San Jose State, 1997), Vitaly Pisetsky (vs. Indiana, 1999) and Mike Allen (vs. Michigan State, 2003).
All-American first-team selection by The NFL Draft Report and American Football Coaches Association...All-Big Ten Conference first-team choice by the league's coaches...Lou Groza Award semi-finalist (nation's top place-kicker)...Named the Badgers' Special Teams Player of the Year...Led the team in scoring with a career-high 105 points...His 105 points rank fifth overall on the school's season-record scoring list, but tops among kickers, breaking the old kick scoring record of 99 points by Matt Davenport in 1998...Made 21-of-25 field goals, just one field goal shy of the school season-record 22 by Rich Thompson in 1992...Tied Indiana's Austin Starr for the league title and ranked 26th nationally with an average of 1.62 field goals per game...Made 42-of-43 extra point attempts and recorded a pair of tackles...The team's kickoff-coverage unit improved from 68th in the nation in 2006 to 23rd nationally, as 50 of Mehlhaff's 77 kickoffs were returned for a 20.7-yard average... Had 27 of his kickoffs go for touchbacks, as he averaged 66.7-yards in distance on those attempts...Earned team Player of the Game honors vs. Washington State, Nevada-Las Vegas, Michigan State and Ohio State.
Second-team All-Big Ten Conference selection by the league's coaches...Semifinalist for the Lou Groza Award...Named the team's Special Teams Player of the Year...Selected Big Ten Player of the Week vs. Illinois...Finished second on the team in scoring with 92 points, the fourth-best total in the league...Even though the kickoff coverage defense ranked 68th in the nation, Mehlhaff had 42 of his 76 kickoffs go for touchbacks, as he averaged 61.6-yards per kick and had 32 kickoffs returned for 663 yards (20.7-yard average)...Made 15-of-20 field goals and became the sixth kicker in school history to make all of his extra-point attempts (47) in a season...Recorded one solo tackle and had the only field goal that was blocked during his career.
Mehlhaff took over field goal and extra points and kickoffs...Named Big Ten Conference Player of the Week vs. Hawaii...Finished second on the team in scoring with 98 points, the third-best season total by a Wisconsin kicker, topped only by his own 105 points in 2007 and Matt Davenport's 99 in 1998...Made 14-of-20 field goals and 56-of-58 extra point tries...Recorded four tackles (two solo) and had 36 touchbacks among his 81 kickoffs for 4,935 yards (60.9-yard distance average), as the opposition returned 45 of those kicks for an 18.9-yard average, having a drive starting point at the 23-yard line.
Lettered as the team's kickoff specialist as a true freshman...Handled 53 kickoffs for 3,266 yards (61.6-yard distance average), 18 touchbacks and five kicks that went out of bounds...Had 33 kickoffs returned for a 20.1-yard average, giving the opponent a drive starting position at the 22-yard line...Also recorded two assisted tackles.
Campus: 4.72 in the 40-yard dash...335-pound bench press...32-inch vertical jump...29 3/4-inch arm length...8 3/4-inch hands...Ambidextrous...Left-footed, soccer style kicker...27/45 Wonderlic score.
Attended Aberdeen (S.D.) Central High School, playing football for head coach Mike Flakus...Rated the premier place-kicker in the prep ranks by Rivals.com, earning All-American first-team honors from Ridell and second-team accolades from USA Today...Two-time All-State, All-Area and All-Conference choice on special teams and added All-Conference honors as a quarterback...South Dakota's 2003 Gatorade Player of the Year...Helped lead his team to 12-1 record and runner-up finish in 2003 Class 11AA state finals as a quarterback, strong safety, kicker and punter...The national kickoff champion at Chris Sailer's Kicking Camp...Had more than 93 percent of his kickoffs go for touchbacks and he made 6-of-14 field goals, with a long of 52 yards and 35-of-36 PATs as a senior...Also passed for 1,359 yards and 12 touchdowns, while making 55 tackles on defense...Team captain and MVP...Lettered four times each in football, hockey and track...Also earned All-State Academic team recognition.
Agricultural Business Management major...Son of Heidi Preston and Charlie Mehlhaff...Father ran track and played golf at Northern State...Born 8/25/85...Resides in Aberdeen, South Dakota.
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