Is Matt Araiza the next Brian Moorman?
Of all the hyped up players from this draft process, one player sticks out: Matt Araiza (aka “The Punt God”). And, well, his stats are pretty phenomenal. He averaged 51.2 yards per punt last season, has a career long of 86 yards, and also bombed an 80 yard punt at the combine. The best comparison for Araiza, using former Buffalo Bills punters, is Brian Moorman, who was with the Bills from 2001-2013. So, could he be Buffalo’s next Brian Moorman?
As most of us recall, Moorman could bomb it (in a good way). The two longest kicks of his career were 84 and 72 yards, and he had a career average of 43.7. He was an All-Pro in 2005 and 2006. To this day, Moorman holds the all-time team record for punts inside the 20 with 259. He also holds the single-game franchise record for punt yards per attempt (57.8).
Araiza, who we already mentioned has a phenomenal leg, is also an elite kicker. He made 73% of his FGs in college, while also converting 97/98 of his XP attempts. While the Bills don’t need any competition for Bass, keeping Araiza on the roster – both for punts and as an emergency kicker – would come in handy late in the season. (So the Bills won’t have their own Carolina Panthers incident down the stretch.)
Furthermore, Araiza had the eighth lowest kickoff return percentage, coming in at 15%. In 2021, Araiza received numerous accolades, including the Ray Guy award. He also broke the record for average punt yards in a season (51.1), previously set by Braden Mann in 2018.
It’s no secret that the Buffalo Bills need a punter. The fanbase suffered through too many Matt Haack shanks last season. Drafting Matt Araiza may just be the answer to the Bills’ field position woes. Now, the question becomes, will the Bills pay up for a punter on day two of the draft?