With six picks in the fourth round of the 2022 NFL draft, there was a good chance the Ravens were going to make some surprise selections Saturday. But nobody saw this one coming.
With pick No. 130 overall — the team’s fourth of seven Day 3 picks — the Ravens elected Penn State punter Jordan Stout. Not only is the move surprising considering San Diego State star Matt Araiza, the “Punt God,” was still on the board, but the Ravens have relied on veteran Sam Koch ever since picking the Nebraska punter in the sixth round of the 2006 NFL draft.
But Koch, who turns 40 in August and has played more games (256) than any Raven, is entering the final year of his contract. The Ravens can save $2.1 million by cutting the 16-year veteran, who carries the third-highest cap figure ($3.175 million) among punters in the league.
Stout was the first punter off the board, and with good reason. He was named Big Ten Punter of the Year after setting Penn State ‘s regular-season record with an average of 46.6 yards per punt, but his accuracy his was his calling card his. On punts in between the 30-yard lines, Stout pinned his opponents inside the 20-yard line 83% of the time, according to Pro Football Focus. He only allowed a touchback on 6% of those opportunities while giving the opposing team an average starting field position of the 12-yard line.
That precision is something Araiza lacked. While the Ray Guy Award winner averaged 51.2 yards per punt — including eight punts of at least 70 yards and two highlight-reel 80-yard bombs — he placed just 63% of his punts from inside the 30-yard lines inside the opponents’ 20 , with more ending up in the endzone for a touchback (29%) than inside the 10 (27%).
Stout, who spent his first two college seasons at Virginia Tech, also handled kickoffs and served as a long-range field-goal kicker for the Nittany Lions. He ranks second in Penn State history with five field goals of 50 or more yards.
He also said he has plenty of experience as a holder. “I think that’s one of the best parts of my game, if not the best,” he said.