Tuesday, March 28, 2017

2017 Punter Rankings

It's draft season! As Derek and I work frivolously on our draft write ups for our positions, my cousin Mike Rasile, wanted to throw a little humor into our quite "serious" blog. Here is his 2017 punter write up but with a twist. Enjoy!

It was the best of times, or it was the worst of times if you are a Falcons fan. The NFL Draft is coming up and we know that one of the most pressing questions on your mind would have to be is, “Should this punter be drafted before Super Bowl winning quarterback, Russell Wilson?” If you are unfamiliar with what I am alluding to our Head Draft Writer’s, Justin Rasile, is a fan of the incumbent Jacksonville Jaguars. This is the team that drafted a punter in the 3rd round with Russell Wilson still on the board. They thought they were set at quarterback with Blaine Gabbert and decided, “what could we possibly do with him?” Again, this was the 3rd round and one of the worst teams in the league drafted a player that only gives the ball back to the other team. Then General Manager is quoted as saying that there wasn’t a player with the value that punter Bryan Anger offered. Now I know punters are a very important part of every football team, watching Jeff Feagles for years made me realize the art is necessary and can really put the other team in a bind, but really? Was anyone else going to grab a punter in the 3rd, 4th, or 5th round? I think one question every team should ask themselves before they do anything should be “what would Bill Belichick do?” This would clear up a lot of stupid shit that goes on in a few organizations that come to mind. So let’s look at the top 3 punters this year and decide who, if any, should be drafted before Russell Wilson.

  1. Rigoberto Sanchez, Hawaii Rainbow Warriors
Career Stats: 21/24 FGs, 44.8 avg yards per punt
Height: 6’1 Weight: 190

You think Russell Wilson is a duel threat? Rigo, as he is known amongst friends, family, and lovers, is considered as one of the best punters in College football. AND is one of the better place kickers. Averaging over 44 yards a punt and 100% (13/13) field goal accuracy in his Senior season. Is there any reason he should not be drafted before Wilson? For comparison's sake, Wilson’s completion percentage for his college career is a paltry 60.9%. That’s almost a full 40% percent worse than Rigo’s. FORTY. And at this point you can guess that Wilson did not average 44 yards per attempt, pitiful. Rigo’s measurements come out on top too. Wilson is barely 6 feet tall and Rigoberto is a giant in comparison at 6’1. What Rigo lacks in throwing ability he makes up with his leg, I do think he should be drafted before Russell Wilson.
  1. Cameron Johnston, Ohio State Buckeyes
Career Stats: 44.9 avg yards per punt
Height: 5’11 Weight: 198

Rigo made up his space on Wilson with his ability to be a duel threat, Johnston lacks in this department. Wilson ran for a total of over 1400 yards in his college career and threw for over 11,500. Johnston ran for a grand total of 1 yard and threw for a disturbingly low 0 yards. Sadly, he averaged less than 1 yard per carry, which in the era of the spread offense is ridiculous. And after his single pass attempt, Urban Meyer realized that Johnston did not have the arm he was once scouted for and gave up on ever letting him throw again. An interesting note on the Australian born punter, he had a punt go over 67 yards in all four years of his college career, including a 73 yarder. Some people will tell me that Cammy was one of the better punters this past season, as noted by his 46.7 average yard per punt, and I will tell them that he kept turning the ball back over to the defense. For these reasons, and the fact that I hate Ohio State, I think Johnston should not be drafted before Russell Wilson.

  1. Hayden Hunt, Colorado State Rams
Career Stats: 43.8 avg yards per punt
Height: 5’11 Weight: 220

Hayden Hunt has the name, Hayden Hunt has the looks, but does Hayden Hunt have the ability to be drafted before Russell Wilson? Maybe. The alliteration is definitely helping in my book and I’m sure it will be a hot topic in war rooms come draft day. I can see it now, “Hayden Hunt, how about him? With a name like that we might just have the next Ray Guy!” Add a check to the name box. After that Hayden Hunt falls a little flat. He averaged a very nice 46 yards per punt in his Junior season but regressed his Senior year by a few yards. Sports reference won’t tell him how many he downed in the 20, so this could be something they might want to look into. His claim to fame might be his single tackle he made his Freshman year. He absolutely got laid that night so we are glad he could do something to help his statistics and his team. He had six games with six punts or more and in each of those games, he averaged over 42 yards per punt. Not completely terrible. One thing that Hunt has over Wilson would be his blistering passer efficiency rating of 343.6. Now I actually have no idea if this is maxed out or if this number goes to infinity, but that does seem impressive next to Russell’s 147.2 for his college career. Maybe if the Jags don’t end up retaining Bortles they can lean heavily on Hayden Hunt’s huge arm. We will see what they do with this year's fourth pick. But for now, I will have to say no other team should be taking Hunt before the third round, except for Jacksonville.

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