The Patriots Rookie Spotlight is a daily series where I will go down the list and break down each of the 10 players taken in the 2019 NFL Draft. So far we have covered WR N’Keal Harry, DB Joejuan Williams, DE Chase Winovich, RB Damien Harris, OT Yodny Cajuste, OG Hjalte Froholdt, QB Jarrett Stidham and DT Byron Cowart. Today we will break down Punter Jake Bailey, who has a shot
If you are reading a post about our current second-string punter, I commend you. This is real commitment to the Patriots organization. Bill Belichick traded up to pick 163 in the fifth round to get Jake Bailey. He was a three-time All-Pac-12 during his four year career at Stanford.
Punting At An NFL Level
Last season at Stanford, Bailey averaged 40.0 yards per punt. That would have ranked 16th in the NFL. His furthest career punt went 66 yards, Ryan Allen’s longest punt is currently 67 yards. He showed flashes of being elite, but his accuracy has been inconsistent.
Future With The Patriots
Jake Bailey has a shot of getting some playing time as a rookie. In fact, he doesn’t even have to win the punting job to get on the field. Bailey has been taking practice reps as the kick-off specialist, something he did very well at the college level. In 2018 Bailey had 72 kick-off attempts and 60 of them resulted in touchbacks. In other words, 83% of his kick-offs resulted in touchbacks compared to 53% for Gostowski. It should be noted that the Patriots intentionally kick it in front of endzone in certain situations.
Now it will be a lot harder to take over as the starting punter, as Ryan Allen has held that position since 2013 and hasn’t shown any signs of regression at only 29-years-old. In fact Allen was so clutch in the 13-3 win over the Rams that people were throwing around the idea of handing him the MVP Award. Allen had 5 punts for 215 yards, 3 of which landed inside the 20. I’d project Bailey makes the team as a kick-off specialist and remains on the sidelines on fourth-down for the time being.
If you liked this article, check out some other installments of this series, where I covered the players listed below. Stayed tuned for my breakdown of CB Ken Webster tomorrow.