LA Rams 2022 NFL Draft Big Board for punters? Yes, punters

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LA Rams Draft Jake Camarda
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Option III: Punter Jake Camarda

With the 239th pick of the 2022 NFL Draft, the LA Rams select punter Jake Camarda out of the University of Georgia

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If the LA Rams fail to draft either of their first two options, then ST Coordinator Joe DeCamillis sees something that many do not. Now don’t get me wrong. Jake Camarda has all of the leg strength needed to succeed at the NFL level. As far as mechanics, he is spot-on as a textbook punter. He simply does not have the ‘touch’ of the previous two prospects.

The result is an errant touchback when Camarda is aiming to pin the opponent within their 20-yard line. But that can be coached. He does offer a solid complement of punts, even the two-step approach needed to get the ball out of there quickly. His regimen is everything any ST Coordinator could ask for. But he is the basic package, without many of the bells or whistles that would excite a new team about a punter.

Option IV: Punter Blake Hayes

After the 2022 NFL Draft, the LA Rams have signed punter Blake Hayes out of the University of Illinois

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The punter from the Fighting Illini, Blake Hayes, originally hails from Melbourne, Australia. That also just so happens to be one of several new International markets designated for the LA Rams going forward.

Hayes is a huge fella’, standing 6-foot-4 and weighing 226-pounds. While you may think all that leverage translates into booming 100-yard punts, the actual matter is that he is insanely effective at directional punting.  His punts., unfortunately, are less arc and more line drives, allowing opponents to field and return effectively. Another drawback to the low-arc trajectory off his foot is the risk of blocked punts, something that had happened three times in his college career.

While he seldom punts into the endzone, his punts are white knuckles. He can pin the opponent at their one-yard line one time but have one returned for 40 yards on the next punt. He has the potential to be good but is not the plug-n-play version of punter that the LA Rams are likely seeking this year.