The New York Jets need to find a better punter to address their overall issues when it comes to getting better field positioning.
With the 2016 NFL Draft looming around the corner, there are still unanswered questions about key positions on the Jet roster. As a result, social media has been a whirlwind of speculation. The topics seem as varied as the opinions. The silence coming out of Florham Park has been deafening, which has only fueled the fire among Jet fans. It may not have been the most exciting offseason thus far, but there has been enough intrigue to keep fans chattering.
The one key piece that has had very little talk about has been the punter position. Ryan Quigley has been the Jets’ punter for the past three seasons, but has since signed with the Philadelphia Eagles. Quigley was a mixed bag with Jet fans with many calling for his exit, while still others wanted the Jets to bring him back. As it happened the Jets didn’t get a deal done, and are now in need of punter to replace him.
Jan 3, 2016; Orchard Park, NY, USA; New York Jets punter Ryan Quigley (4) during the game against the Buffalo Bills at Ralph Wilson Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Kevin Hoffman-USA TODAY Sports
Now many see kickers as “lesser players” on a football roster, but Jet fans know first hand how important special teams are. Quigley wasn’t by any means the greatest kicker in the NFL, but he was experienced with special teams, and was reportedly a leader on them as well.
He obviously can be replaced, and will be, possibly from the draft or even from the undrafted class. They also could wait and watch the wire and hope a proven veteran gets cut. Either way, they will likely bring two guys in to compete for the job this summer.
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If the Jets choose to turn to the draft for a punter, they could do so in round seven.
Two punters they might consider there are Drew Kaser and Alex Kinal.
Both had success for their respective teams, but Kanali is the higher ranked prospect coming into the draft.
Kaser played his college ball at Texas A&M and stands 6’3 and tips the scales at 205 pounds.
Kaser has a big leg, delivering a career-long punt of 71 yards this year and had ten over 50 yards as a junior. In 2013, he averaged 47.4 yards per punt average. He may possibly go undrafted, but if the Jets like what they see, they could lock him up with a late rounder.
Kinal is another option from the draft, but he’s more likely to get drafted. Ranked higher then Kaser, Kinal stands 6’3, weighs 205 pounds and played his college ball at Wake Forest. During his days at Wake Forest, Kinal held the position through four years.
He proved himself to be a solid player while averaging 40 yards per punt in his freshman season, 39.5 the following year, before averaging 46.4 yards in his junior year. He closed out his senior season by averaging 43.8 yards per punt. Kinal’s career long is an impressive 73 yards, and he reportedly turned some heads for his performance at this year’s Senior Bowl. Kinal is expected to be drafted anywhere from the 5th to 7th rounds.
There are currently no free agent punters available, limiting the Jets options. The Jets will certainly be scanning the wire hoping for a veteran to compete. Options for the Jets after the draft are numerous, with names like Will Monday out of Duke or Jamie Keehn from LSU that could be good options to consider.
No matter what the Jets decide to do at the position, it obviously needs to be addressed. Punters play a huge role in the field position game, and a good one can play a key role in making a team’s defense better. While punters might not be among the league’s most illustrious position, it is one that needs to be discussed when it comes to the Jets. I ask that you help us here at The Jet Press get the discussion going. Please leave us a comment below and Let’s Talk Jet Football!!