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2022 NFL Draft: Drafting and developing a long-term punter

Is a rookie the answer to the troubles with Haack?

Almost a year ago, the Buffalo Bills—after being dissatisfied with current option Corey Bojorquez—signed former Miami Dolphins punter Matt Haack. While it was a three-year deal for a decent chunk of change ($3.25 million guaranteed), it was evident throughout the season that Haack would struggle to live up to the contract. The veteran netted out as one of the worst punters in the NFL this season, ranking 25th in the league in yards per punt. On top of that, general manger Brandon Beane essentially admitted that the team was going to look at their options at punter this offseason.

If the team does decide to move on from Haack and save some money in the process, this is just the draft to be looking for a rookie replacement. The two top options below have received quite a bit of hype throughout their careers and could be drafted as high as the fourth round. Below are just a few of the players the Bills might consider.

Tier I

Matt Araiza (San Diego State)
Jordan Stout (Penn State)

Known as the the ‘punt god,’ Araiza has insanely impressive leg strength. In college, he led the FBS in punt average (51.2) and regularly was able to flip the field for his team by blasting 70-yard punts or better—including two 80-yard boots. On top of that, he’s simply an athlete on coverage, which was demonstrated at the Combine by running a 4.68 40-yard dash. While Araiza’s 40-time was impressive, Stout had him beat with a 4.65. During the season, Stout averaged 46.0 yards per punt, which was good for about 18th in FBS. According to Chad Reuter though, he was going toe-to-toe with Araiza during Combine warmups.

Tier II

Jake Camarda (Georgia)
Ryan Stonehouse (Colorado State)

Ranking 13th in the FBS with a punt average of 46.7 yards, Camarda also led all punters with a 40-yard dash time of 4.56. Starting games since his freshman year, he is also highly experienced in the SEC. The player who ranked second in the FBS with a 50.9 average is Stonehouse, who broke the NCAA FBS record for highest career average yards per punt with his 47.8 yard average.