The New York Jets decided to draft punter Lachlan Edwards out of Sam Houston State to bring better production out of the position. Here is an inside look at everything he brings to the table.
The New York Jets had serious punt game issues in 2015. The addition of punter Lachlan Edwards could help them, because he has experience in kicking a ball the shape of a football and putting it exactly where he wants it.
He won the Australia equivalent to a state championship in Aussie Rules Football, and he played under it for one year at the University of Ballarat. Then he came to the United States and played at Sam Houston State for three seasons.
Edwards has a booming leg, and his leg can help the Jets in the field position game. The Jets had one of the worst punting units in 2015 as by the looks of it so far in training camp and preseason football, Edwards will bring much better results.
They were last in net punting average, tied for 14th in punts inside the 20, tied for 27th in forced fair catches (with only one team worse), and were one of only ten teams to have at least one of their punts blocked.
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He only has three seasons of North American gridiron football experience, but in Aussie Rules football, in order to score (from any spot on the field) you must kick through posts set up on each end, and it’s a drop kick like punting. It’s a good training ground for punting in the NFL.
He won’t be trailblazing, though. He will become the seventh player in NFL history to make the transition from Australian Rules Football to NFL punter.
Based on his college performance, he needs to be more consistent in his hang time and accuracy, but that can be fixed with coaching. The Jets need the punt game to help in the field position battle, and the combination of special teams coordinator Brant Boyer and his assistant Jeff Hammerschmidt should be good for this raw punter.