It’s been several weeks since the 2022 NFL Draft concluded and the hype for the Baltimore Ravens’ impressive 11-man haul is still high. Often overly optimistic and sometimes unfair projections are placed on first-year players entering the league before they even take a snap in the preseason. With that in mind, the return of my annual realistic expectation article series has arrived.
P Jordan Stout
Round 4 No. 130 overall
The former Penn State Nittany Lion was the first punter selected in this year’s draft and will be the Ravens’ starter at the position for the foreseeable future following the official retirement of long-time veteran, Sam Koch after an illustrious 16-year career.
Koch was the last punter the team drafted in 2006, played the most games of any player in franchise history, and was one of the best and most well-respected specialists in the league for the majority of his career. Thankfully for Stout, he has agreed to stay on as a special teams consultant and has already begun mentoring his successor.
Like his predecessor that he’s replacing, Stout doesn’t possess the strongest leg but he is able to consistently pin the opposing offense back with impressive ball placement. The hang time on his punts is also impressive and will provide his coverage units more time to either force a fair catch or bring down the returner before they have a chance to pick up much yardage.
Stout’s second and arguably just as equally important job, in addition to being the starting punter, will be taking over as the holder for All-Pro kicker Justin Tucker on field goals and extra-point attempts. Koch’s prowess for consistently ensuring that his kickers had the ball teed up just how they like no matter the snap or weather conditions was instrumental to the Ravens’ special teams success overall for nearly two decades.
The rookie could also help preserve Tucker’s leg and potentially extend his career by a few more years by assisting in handling kickoff duties. He performed both punting and place-kicking duties in college and is capable of doing the same in the pros if needed.