A good punter can be a valuable weapon.
If the offense has an awful series and fails to advance the ball past the, say, 16-yard line, they risk the opposing offense getting the ball with great field position. A good punter can come in and boot the ball inside the opponent's 30-yard line, negating the opposing defense's previous effort while boosting his own defense at the same time.
Louisiana Tech's Ryan Allen is more than just good—he's fantastic. After a record-setting campaign in college, Allen is looking to bring his talents to the professional level. Let's get a little more acquainted with the former Bulldog.
Full Name: Ryan Allen
Birthday: February 28, 1990
Hometown: Salem, Oregon
High School: West Salem High School
Year: Redshirt Senior
How did the Salem native find his way down to the musky bayou?
After two years of not playing at Oregon State, Allen transferred to Louisiana Tech in 2010. He became the starter immediately and never looked back.
2010: 12 games, 60 punts, 40.8 avg, 21 inside 20, long of 66 yards
2011: 13 games, 83 punts, 46.1 avg, 39 inside 20, long of 72 yards
2012: 12 games, 45 punts, 48.0 avg, 20 inside 20, long of 85 yards
Allen was consistently very good during his three-year stint at Louisiana Tech, but there's no question his best season was in 2011. He landed nearly half of his punts inside the opponent's 20-yard line, meaning the Bulldogs' defense was consistently set up in good position.
He saw the fewest punts of his career in 2012, but a high average and a career long of 85 yards ensured that it was nevertheless an impressive year.
Weight: 229 pounds
Arm Length: 32 1/2"
Hand Size: 9 5/8"
Combine and Pro Day Results: Positional drills only
While the specifics of Allen's workouts may be a bit difficult to uncover, it's generally believed that the Louisiana Tech punter further cemented his powerful leg and impressive accuracy.
Ray Allen won the Ray Guy Award in 2011 and 2012, making him the first punter ever to win the award back to back.
Allen only played two years of football in high school, but he earned letters both years as West Salem High's punter and kicker.
Allen is destined to be highly sought after by teams who are in need of a punter. NFL Draft 101 ranks him as the second best punter in the draft.
In fact, Allen is ranked in the top five available punters by a number of NFL Draft analyzers (courtesy of Kickology).
Walter Football isn't playing around, though. They've named Allen the cream of the crop among 2013 punters.
For a little bit of home cooking, Bleacher Report's own Cleveland Browns Featured Columnist Andy McNamara believes Allen would be an instant starter and instant improvement for the Browns' special teams.