As another lost New York Jets season unfolds, it’s time to evaluate this 53-man roster. Let’s continue this daily ranking with #22, punter Lachlan Edwards.
Punter, New York Jets
New York Jets punter Lachlan Edwards is one of 14 draftees remaining from the previous Mike Maccagnan/Todd Bowles regime. The Australian Rules Football player honed his American game punting at Sam Houston State. Gang Green 2016 took him in the seventh-round (235th overall).
Edwards has been consistent since day one: punting all 16 games of his four seasons, with his past two years averaging identical 45.9 per.
Sure, Lac’s had a few flubs among his 338 attempts. But he’s a proven special teams asset — an excellent directional kicker, with an innate ability to blast kicks long or place balls inside the 20, without outkicking the coverage.
Edwards offers additional value as a reliable FG holder. The only knock on his game is the few big returns against him, lowering his net average to a pedestrian 41.6 per. But that’s also related to coverage.
General manager Joe Douglas has worked hard to secure special teams upgrades. He extended the contract (four years, $4.1 million) of long-snapper Thomas Hennessy, because the local Don Bosco Prep product has done his job perfectly in his three-seasons. In contrast, this franchise might’ve missed out on a chance of a playoff race by not re-signing All-Pro kicker Jason Myers — a problem later compounded by Adam Gase, who allowed for the Tayler Bertolet/Kaare Vedvik debacle.
Edwards’ $720,000 salary was a wise investment for 2019. The last camp, he won out in competition over Gase’s Dolphins punter Matt Darr. This year, he must fend off-reserve/futures signee Ian Berryman, a two-time All-American and the all-time leading punter in Western Carolina history.
Special Teams coach Brant Boyer loves Edwards. If Douglas/Gase lock into Lac, he’s on pace to soon overtake New York Jets all-time leading punter, Super Bowler Curley Johnson (1961-1968).
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