The 2022 Draft class featured arguably the greatest collection of punter talent ever to enter the league at the same time. Three punters were drafted by teams — Jordan Stout, Jake Camarda, and Matt Araiza — all boasting rather incredible skill sets. Stout was first off the board to the Ravens in the fourth round, considered the best all-around punter on the board, while Camarda went shortly after to the Bucs as one of the best in college football at pinning opposing teams deep in their own territory.
However, the punter most were aware of coming into the draft was Araiza, the San Diego State product who was known for absolutely nuking punts, boasting an unreal 51.19 yard average on 79 punts a year ago for the Aztecs. He went to the Bills with the first pick of the sixth round and on Saturday, fans in Orchard Park were treated to the “Punt God” going to work in the preseason opener against the Colts.
Lined up at his own 18, Araiza had room to let loose and uncorked what became an 82-yard touchback that landed inside the 15, traveling nearly 70 yards in the air (from the line of scrimmage, not where he hit it), as the Colts punt returner retreated in vain.
82-YARD PUNT ALERT
— Buffalo Bills (@BuffaloBills) August 13, 2022
The reaction from everyone was tremendous, as the announcers couldn’t believe what they were watching and the Bills sideline erupted, as everyone (including star QB Josh Allen) came over to show some love to their young punter. However, those that watched Araiza in college know this is par for the course, as he let loose an 81-yard effort last year that looked an awful lot like this one.
The Bills don’t plan on punting a ton this year, but they will have the power to flip the field whenever they want thanks to Araiza, which is a nice thing to have in your back pocket as a contender.