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Published: Sunday, 4/18/2010

UM punter just wants a fair shot

Zoltan Mesko was a finalist for the Ray Guy award while punting for the Wolverines. Zoltan Mesko was a finalist for the Ray Guy award while punting for the Wolverines.

With the help of his parents on the weekends, Zoltan Mesko has slowly begun packing away his belongings for an expected move later this month. Soon enough, he'll know where he's headed.

Unsure whether he'll be added to an NFL roster via the draft or as an unsigned free agent, Mesko, a Ray Guy award finalist while at Michigan, simply wants to enter a comfortable situation.

"If free agency is the case,

I wouldn't mind going with that," Mesko said. "It's no

problem as long as I'm in a good situation where I'm

not just saving the veteran punter's leg in camp. I want a fair shot to compete whereverwherever I go."

The third-ranked draft-eligible punter by ESPN.com, Mesko has stayed in Ann Arbor since the end of the season, working out for different NFL teams and inching toward earning his master's degree in sports management.

The teams who have expressed interest in Mesko include Indianapolis, the New York Jets, Philadelphia, Kansas City, Atlanta, and New England.

By all accounts Mesko had a poor showing at the Senior Bowl, which could affect the draft prospects for the second-team All-American.

"Everyone's kind of playing their cards close to their vest," he said. "It's kind of like buying a house. Not everyone wants to show interest, and they don't want to make their final offer until draft day.

Two of Mesko's former teammates, Brandon Graham and Donovan Warren, are expected to be drafted with Graham as a possible first or second round pick.

The Senior Bowl MVP, Graham is considered the 15th overall prospect and top outside linebacker by ESPN.com.

The question with Graham is whether he's better suited to play linebacker in a 3-4 defense or as an end in a 4-3.

He was dominant at the latter position for the Wolverines, leading the nation in tackles for loss last season.

Warren, who bypassed his senior season to enter the draft, is the 17th-ranked cornerback.

Most prognosticators believe he will be selected no earlier than the third round.

- Ryan Autullo

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