'Punt God' Matt Araiza Selected by Bills in 6th Round of 2022 NFL DraftApril 30, 2022
The Punt God has found a new home.
The Buffalo Bills selected San Diego State punter Matt Araiza with the first pick of the sixth round of the 2022 NFL draft on Saturday. Araiza earned the affectionate nickname for his booming punts during his college career and became a fan favorite on social media.
It is no surprise Twitter liked the pick:
Buffalo Bills @BuffaloBills
𝐏𝐔𝐍𝐓 𝐆𝐎𝐃‼️<br><br>Welcome to Buffalo, <a href="https://twitter.com/matt_araiza?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@Matt_Araiza</a>! <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/BillsMafia?src=hash&ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#BillsMafia</a> <a href="https://t.co/ifbf6FjLa0">pic.twitter.com/ifbf6FjLa0</a>
He seemed fairly pumped about the match as well:
No punter received as much attention as the San Diego State product leading into the draft, but he was actually the third player taken at his position. The Baltimore Ravens selected Penn State's Jordan Stout with the No. 25 pick of the fourth round, and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers chose Georgia's Jake Camarda three picks later.
Yet it was Araiza who was a consensus All-American and the Ray Guy Award winner as the nation's top punter in 2021.
He averaged an FBS single-season record 51.2 yards per punt and was also San Diego State's kicker while making all 45 of his extra points and 18 of 28 field-goals attempts. Throw in four tackles as someone who wasn't afraid to mix it up after kicking it, and there was little the 6'2", 200-pounder didn't do when the Aztecs' special teams were on the field.
If things go according to plan for Buffalo, it won't use Araiza much.
After all, his presence on the field will mean the high-powered offense with Josh Allen at the controls didn't score. The Bills led the AFC in points per game (28.4) last season and improved that unit by selecting running back James Cook and wide receiver Khalil Shakir in the draft.
They can now take solace knowing that Araiza should be able to boom a punt downfield on the rare occasions when the offense doesn't come through with a score.