After the trade for Tyreek Hill and trading away DeVante Parker this off-season, Miami has a 3rd, 4th and two 7th round picks in the 2022 NFL draft. While all the new free agency signings fill Miami’s significant holes on the roster, there’s one glaring hole that Miami needs to address; Punter.
The punter position is an underrated position in football that can be utilized to flip field position and support your defense. The punter gives yardage cushion to the defense, allowing them more space to get stops. An effective punt can pin an opposing team deep, creating potential safety situations and giving potential field advantages. The problem is Miami doesn’t have this.
The potential unseen yardage swing when you have a good punter can be the difference in a couple of possessions that a team may have.
The best example of this is the Tennessee game this past year, where the weather was not ideal and a game based on field position. In that game, Michael Palardy averaged 36.8 yards per punt. A good average yard per punt sits around 45. That’s almost one full three-down set. Compare it to the opposing punter for the Titans, Brett Kern, who averaged 44.3 yards per punt. That’s a 7.5-yard difference in yardage needed to travel to score. Even in total yardage, Palardy (147 yards), Kern (177 yards), and the Dolphins were out punted by 30 yards on the same amount of punt attempts (4). There’s an argument that part of Miami’s 34-3 loss was lost in the field position battle.
Matt Araiza’s availability in the upcoming draft offers a chance for Miami to strengthen the punter position and secure better field position overall on defense and offense. Last season at San Diego State University, Matt Araiza averaged 51.2 yards per punt. Michael Palardy’s season average for yards per punt rested at 44.7, slightly below average.
Some scouting reports offered by NFL.com state:
• Had 18 punts of 60 yards or more/ 2 punts of 80 yards.
• Elite field flipping talent.
• Net average of 50 yards on open field punts
• Punting style creates strong forward bounce if not caught
Typically it is uncommon to draft a kicker/punter. However, when a guy like Matt Araiza is available, and you’re in a position to draft the best available, it’s worth spending a pick to secure your kicker/punter. The sky is the limit with Matt Araiza’s potential, and although one never wants to waste picks, it’s always worth taking a chance on potential.
I think Miami should grab him in the 3rd round. Ensure they have a great punter.
This guy is probably the one fourth rounder that can immediately impact the team. After an ILB or possibly another olineman in the 3rd round, with their first pick, Phins need to go after their next Reggie Roby with this “punt god” Matt Araiza.
Do not disagree with the field position argument & I “might” not disagree with a 4th round pick used (depending on what is available when the 4th round pick comes up). However, punting for distance is one thing – punting with accuracy/situational placement/coverage dynamics is another. Should be noted 30% of all Araiza’s punts end up in touchbacks. He often outkicks the coverage leading to net yards far lower than the distance he punt traveled. Again… I hope the Fins draft him b/c he can be taught to dial it back & be more than a long ball hitter but a 5th round (which we don’t have anymore) would have been a much better resource to spend. There is another punter to be had who maybe not as prolific as Araiza but is an amazing punter – Jordan Stout. Good fallback if they don’t wish to spend a 4th and instead use a 7th. Just say’n…..
All these people talking about 4th and 5th round picks, the first commenter has it correct. If you want this guy so bad you’re probably going to have to take him in the third.
Is he really that much better than everybody else (free agents/draft).
If you think Miami is a punter away from being in super bowl contention then I can’t help you.
Against Tennessee Palardy was punting into a huge headwind for all of his punts. Kern had all of his punts with the wind at his back. Crappy analogy. You didn’t mention Mike was coming off an ACL tear and, with the exception of that one game, had a terrific second half of the season. He finished 3rd in the NFL in punts inside the 20 and 2nd in the NFL with punts inside the 10. Also, factor in that Mike has never had a punt blocked in his career and this dude from SDS is extremely slow with his get off and is a three step punter. That ain’t gonna fly in the NFL. Watch what happens when the speed him up or make him a 2 step punter. Lots of distance coming off. Don’t be lazy in your research. Big legs can wow the novice, but there is much, much more that goes into being an NFL punter.
Palardy was terrible last year, don’t spin his 2021 season
Average yes. Terrible no. The stats don’t back you up as all.
Agree with you Rick,distance is great,but rather have someone who can send it 25 yards and pin a team inside their 10 instead of 50 and boot it out of the end zone and give them much better field position.
Hey Dolphins staff,GM, listen to me for I KNOW WHAT I SPEAK,although for the life of me I can’t remember his name, I have memory issues, still, listen to me !
The Kentucky Wildcats football team had a punter just a few years ago,and the guy could boom them,but as Rick spoke of,and I did as well, this guy was great at direction punting and pinning a team deep !
He’s never been given a legit shot by NFL teams,mainly because everyone always had a returning starter,etc…, but this guy was the real deal for UK, I should know, I’m a Wildcat fan from Kentucky,but trust me it’s not any prejudice for him, I’m being straight out honest.
If I’m not mistaken the CFL,CANADIAN league just recently signed him,but it’s nothing I’m sure he can’t be gotten out of. Give him a shot and I promise you’ll see what I’m saying, even go back and check out his tape and kicks ! Trust me,longtime Dolphin fan to,since 1970, don’t want to steer you wrong either ! Go Dolphins…and change the Uni’s back Ross, thanks !
I have been watching Matt Araiza for years. The raw talent in Matt Araiza is abundant. Hopefully, he is still available in the fourth round for Miami to pick. In my opinion, his speed and tackling capabilities will support his punting/kicking dominance. Some coach is going to be credited as changing the game when they flip the script on how a punter is utilized.
If Miami is able to get 5 solid years out of Matt Araiza as a punter and allows him to be aggressive I think it will drastically change the field position for the opposition. His NFL Combine stats demonstrate that even though he does not have the hang time he has the punting distance, agility, and speed to chase down most receivers.