The Green Bay Packers made an interesting choice when they selected punter J.K. Scott in the fifth round. But it’s a pick that will pay off.
Many fans thought that the punter position was set after last season with Justin Vogel having a solid year. All that changed on the third day of the 2018 NFL Draft.
Scott got his start in football in his hometown of Denver, Colorado playing high school ball at Mullen High School. He averaged 39.9 yards per punt and had a long of 61 yards. After graduating in 2014, he joined the University of Alabama.
Some thought that going from the Mile High City and its thin air to sea level Alabama would diminish some of his game, but he proved them wrong.
In his first year, he led the nation in punt length average with 48 yards per punt. He also placed 33 punts inside the 20-yard line. He was a finalist for the Ray Guy Award in 2014.
The next season, his average went slightly down but stayed in the high 40s. That year Alabama won the college football national championship.
Scott is also a kickoff specialist and will likely take over kickoff duties from Mason Crosby.
A lot of fans were expecting Vogel to have this job, but shortly after Scott was drafted, Vogel was waived by the team and picked up by the Cleveland Browns.
This move shocked a lot of fans because Vogel had a solid year punting last season, averaging 44.4 yards with 19 punts inside the 20-yard line, and only two touchbacks allowed. With his departure the job is Scott’s to lose.
The Packers also could have gone after veteran punter Marquette King in free agency, but didn’t due to the high price that King would come with.
In an area that is often overlooked in football, the Packers are making moves. With additional punt distance and hang time, the punt game will help the defense out tremendously, and that in turn will get Aaron Rodgers and the offense back on the field sooner.
It’s all one machine, and to succeed it needs to operate as one.