Official 2024 Punt Runts Punter Draft Board

Before we get into our rankings, let’s get one thing straight: it’s hard to tell which college punters will make good pros. This is true of every position, of course, but we often forget that guys like Johnny Townsend and JK Scott were drafted whereas prospects like Jack Fox and Ryan Stonehouse were not.

Here at Puntalytics we subscribe to a “kick ball far good” ideology. We value punters who above anything else can punt the ball far, really really far. We’re sort of renegades among the puntalygensia for that. Now let’s get to those rankings!

Rank Punter School
1 Tory Taylor Iowa
2 Austin McNamara Texas Tech
3 Matthew Hayball Vanderbilt
4 Ryan Rehkow BYU
5 Ryan Sanborn Texas
6 Porter Wilson Duke

Read on for our takes and custom metrics on all your favorite punting prospects. Be sure to keep checking back at our twitter feed for the latest draft content! Adj Net is return adjusted net, OF is Open-field score (inside own 40), and PD is pin-deep score (beyond own 40). Curious about our custom EPA metric, pEPA? Read about it and our other metrics here.

1. Tory Taylor (Iowa)

HT: 6’4” WT: 235 age: 26

2023: Punts: 93, adj net: 45.6, pEPA: 0.37, OF: 0.48, PD: 0.09
2022: Punts: 88, adj net: 40.5, pEPA: 0.15, OF: 0.07, PD: 0.24
2021: Punts: 83, adj net: 40.6, pEPA: 0.14, OF: 0.24, PD: 0.04
2020: Punts: 40, adj net: 42.7, pEPA: 0.33, OF: 0.32, PD: 0.33

As the second best phenom to get drafted out of Iowa this month, Tory Taylor is worth all the hype he’s been given. His 2023 season profiles similarly to Matt Araiza’s 2021, but he has also shown elite levels of pin-deep accuracy in seasons past. As punter prospects go, he is a notch below the generational level of Michael Dickson, and profiles closer to the Jordan Stout tier. The thing that sets him apart from all other punting prospects is his volume (thanks Iowa). He has three seasons with over 80 punts, and in each of those, he was able to maintain good to elite results. In other words, his numbers are much more trustworthy than your typical punting prospect. We at puntalytics love large sample sizes. In his senior season, Taylor posted a 0.37 pEPA score on 93 punts. The only other punter to score at least .30 on 80 or more punts? Michael Dickson.

Coaches might not like his 7 touchbacks in 2023, but we like his willingness to hunt big plays, as demonstrated by a great boom to shank ratio. It’s also important to note that he is already 27, and though teams have been less bothered by punter age in recent years, it could be a deterrent to his draft stock in an already strong class. He should be the first punter drafted, and could go as high as the 4th round (though rounds 5-6 are more likely).

2. Austin McNamara (Texas Tech)

HT: 6050 WT: 204 age: 23

2023: Punts: 55, adj net: 42.7, pEPA: 0.23, OF: 0.27, PD: 0.18
2022: Punts: 57, adj net: 41.2, pEPA: 0.07, OF: 0.09, PD: -0.01
2021: Punts: 38, adj net: 43.8, pEPA: 0.32, OF: 0.51, PD: -0.15
2020: Punts: 40, adj net: 41.7, pEPA: 0.12, OF: 0.13, PD: 0.30
2019: Punts: 59, adj net: 41.7, pEPA: 0.23, OF: 0.24, PD: 0.20

Punters 2-4 on our big board are all very closely ranked, any one of these three has a case to be the second punter drafted. We’ll present the case for Austin McNamara. His 0.51 open field score in 2021 is tantalizing. Yes it was only on 27 punts, but an open field score that high is enough to get us to forget about our high volume preference. That number isn’t buyoed by long bouncing punts either as one third of those punts were fair caught (three times more than the typical draftable punter) and over 48 yards.

McNamara does not display the consistency of the punter below him, but we believe that when drafting punters, teams should shoot for upside. At 23, he is on the younger end for punting prospects. He should be drafted and could go as high as the 5th round.

3. Matthew Hayball (Vanderbilt via Florida Atlantic)

HT: 6’0” WT: 190 age: 27

2023: Punts: 57, adj net: 45.1, pEPA: 0.38, OF: 0.47, PD: 0.15
2022: Punts: 61, adj net: 41.1, pEPA: 0.07, OF: 0.01, PD: 0.28
2021: Punts: 58, adj net: 42.8, pEPA: 0.23, OF: 0.26, PD: 0.18
2020: Punts: 27, adj net: 40.9, pEPA: 0.14, OF: 0.13, PD: 0.17
2019: Punts: 68, adj net: 41.0, pEPA: 0.10, OF: 0.18, PD: -0.12

Matthew Hayball’s 2023 season is the best graded season from any punter in this year’s class. His year to year inconsistencies perfectly match his story. In 2022, he transfered to Vanderbilt from FAU and saw his numbers dip. But after one year of adjusting to the SEC, he saw amazing improvement in his top of the line 2023 season. At different points in his career, he has shown prowess in both open-field and pin-deep areas of the field.
At 27, he is on the older side for a punting prospect, but this shouldn’t stop teams from taking a chance on his in the draft. He should be drafted in the 6th round.

4. Ryan Rehkow (BYU)

HT: 6002 WT: 227

2023: Punts: 70, adj net: 44.9, pEPA: 0.32, OF: 0.39, PD: 0.02
2022: Punts: 39, adj net: 41.6, pEPA: 0.16, OF: 0.19, PD: 0.09
2021: Punts: 40, adj net: 41.7, pEPA: 0.18, OF: 0.22, PD: 0.08
2020: Punts: 28, adj net: 41.8, pEPA: 0.27, OF: 0.32, PD: 0.21

Ryan Rehkow’s (REE-co) overall numbers profile similarly to Tory Taylor’s (one year of elite production, multiple years before that as a plus starter, and top-tier open field numbers). Even their percentage of open-field fair caught punts over 48 yards (a quick gauge of how often punters are hitting a B+ or above spiral punt) are very similar (both around 10%). Rehkow has everything we like to see in a drafted punter, but he has neither the crazy upside of McNamara, nor Taylor’s punt to punt consistency. In 2023, he had 5 open field punts under 30 yards (Taylor had 0).

Despite that, Rehkow easily clears our draftable threshold (he would have been our number 1 punter last year) and we expect him to be a solid pro. He should be drafted around the 6th round.

5. Ryan Sanborn (Texas via Stanford)

HT: 6’2” WT: 212 age: 23

2023: Punts: 38, adj net: 43.4, pEPA: 0.30, OF: 0.32, PD: 0.25
2022: Punts: 57, adj net: 38.5, pEPA: -0.09, OF: -0.18, PD: 0.11
2021: Punts: 59, adj net: 39.3, pEPA: 0.00, OF: 0.00, PD: 0.02
2020: Punts: 21, adj net: 37.1, pEPA: 0.07, OF: -0.03, PD: 0.14
2019: Punts: 53, adj net: 38.4, pEPA: 0.02, OF: 0.01, PD: 0.02

Our dark horse in this year’s class, Ryan Sanborn posted elite numbers in 2023, despite not punting much at Texas. He meets our draftable thresholds, but given that he only punted 38 times in his final season, it is hard to know how much credence we can give those numbers. His age should be a positive for NFL teams. We would draft him in the 7th round, but the NFL will likely bring him in as a UDFA.

6. Porter Wilson (Duke)

HT: 6044 WT: 241 age: 23

2023: Punts: 55, adj net: 42.8, pEPA: 0.18, OF: 0.21, PD: 0.11
2022: Punts: 41, adj net: 39.2, pEPA: 0.02, OF: 0.11, PD: -0.09
2021: Punts: 61, adj net: 41.5, pEPA: 0.13, OF: 0.23, PD: -0.10
2020: Punts: 49, adj net: 41.2, pEPA: 0.14, OF: 0.19, PD: 0.07

Our favorite UDFA target in this year’s class, Porter Wilson, does not meet our draftable thresholds, but he profiles similarly to other former ACC UDFA AJ Cole. We’re not saying Wilson will end up being the best punter of the decade, but he has the traits needed to make a team as a UDFA punter. He should be a priority free agent signing.