Punter prospect Matt Araiza would like to kick field goals too, but NFL teams don’t expect it
San Diego State’s Matt Araiza set a new NCAA record by averaging 51.2 yards per punt last season, and that will almost certainly get him drafted next week. But Araiza was also San Diego State’s field goal kicker, and he wants to do more than just punt in the NFL.
However, Araiza says NFL teams don’t see it that way, and are telling him to stick to punting.
“I haven’t had a single team tell me they want me to do both,” Araiza told BleacherReport.com. “I think it’s something coordinators are scared of. But that’s another thing that I would like to tackle down the road. Once I am an established punter, I would like to compete for that job. Hopefully at some point I get a shot to do what no one has done before.”
Realistically, it’s unlikely that Araiza will get that opportunity. No player has been his team’s primary punter and field goal kicker since Frank Corral with the 1981 Rams. NFL teams will likely want Araiza focused solely on punting.
But punting alone will be enough to make some NFL team take a mid-round pick on Araiza. He’s likely to be the highest-drafted punter since Bryan Anger went to the Jaguars with the 70th overall pick in 2012. Punters like Araiza don’t come along often.