The Buffalo Bills have what some would call a “punting problem.”
Prior to the 2021 season, the Bills were hopeful Matt Haack would get it done in Buffalo as they signed him to a free-agent deal. He did not.
So much so that even general manager Brandon Beane admitted at his end of season press conference that he has to look into the position this offseason. Ouch.
A name to watch moving forward is Matt Araiza.
According to WUFO radio in Buffalo, the Bills met with the San Diego State punter at the recent 2022 NFL combine. Araiza said he talked to the Bills via press conference:
— Muki Hawkins (@wufosports) March 6, 2022
Araiza, who can also take kickoffs, is likely a player of interest to the Bills.
Above all else, he’s left-footed.
Some NFL coaches buy into the philosophy of lefties making a difference. The concept: when the ball flies off their foot, it spins differently, something the return man has to think about.
Buffalo head coach Sean McDermott has shown in the past with a few punters he’s brought into the Bills locker room that he believes this. Exhibit A: Haack.
Beyond that, Araiza is simply a very touted prospect.
NFL.com put it into perspective in their analysis of him:
Araiza possesses elite power and field-flipping ability that could make him the highest-drafted punter since Todd Sauerbrun went 56th overall in 1995.
Hard to find better praise than that. But it checks out. Araiza’s nickname? “Punt God.”
While specialist might not be players often thought about as draft picks, it seems pretty likely that Araiza will be selected at the 2022 draft.
Keep the Bills in mind.
In total, Buffalo has two extra picks (9) at the upcoming draft heading into the event.
Among those are six Day 3 selections, including two in the sixth and seventh rounds, respectively.