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Buffalo Bills almost didn’t pick a punter on NFL Draft weekend

Punt God Matt Araiza, Jordan Stout, Jake Camarda, and Trenton Gill were the only punters selected.

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Matt Warren is Associate Director of NFL coverage for SB Nation and previously covered the Bills for Buffalo Rumblings for more than a decade.

The Buffalo Bills almost didn’t draft a punter at all in 2022. The way the board fell, if another team had traded up to leapfrog the Bills for Matt Araiza, who they took at pick 180 to start the sixth round, the Bills didn’t have anyone left in their draftable grades, per a report that came out since Day 3 wrapped.

According to Mike Silver of Bally Sports, who was embedded with Bills’ general manager Brandon Beane throughout the 2022 NFL Draft weekend, Buffalo only had those three punters on their board. They stayed put without trading up and nabbed the final punter on their board.

The Baltimore Ravens struck early, selecting Jordan Stout from Penn State at pick 130. That pick, ironically enough, was traded by the Bills as part of their move up in the first round. Three picks later, Jake Camarda from Georgia was off the board. Two punters gone in the fourth round.

Bills fans on Twitter and in our comments section were panicking. The Bills didn’t have another pick until 168 in the late fifth round and Matt Haack did not have a very good year in 2021. They began to panic even more when Buffalo used that pick as part of a trade up to the top of the fifth for a wide receiver. Concerned fans had to wait all the way to the sixth round.

At pick 180, the Bills took Araiza. Punting crisis averted.

The Bills didn’t panic like the commenters/tweeters. They stayed put without trading up and nabbed the final punter on their board. Who knows what the punting competition would have looked like otherwise?

One more punter went in the Draft—the Chicago Bears picked Trenton Gill from NC State in the final eight picks of the seventh round. The Bears traded a 2023 sixth-rounder for picks 254 and 255.

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Bills open sixth round with P Matt Araiza