The Tampa Bay Buccaneers drafted punter Jake Camarda out of the University of Georgia in the fourth round of the 2022 NFL Draft, which naturally has brought many…opinions. One such opinion of the new Buccaneers (potential) starting punter comes from one of the biggest stars currently in sports media, who happens to also be a former NFL punter.
After a little while, general managers will develop patterns with drafting, and Jason Licht is no different. One thing Licht has a history of when it comes to the draft is drafting special teams players. He’s done so as high as the SECOND ROUND in 2016 (see Roberto Aguayo), and even drafting two in four years with Matt Gay being a fifth-round pick in 2019.
While this strategy may come off as “controversial”, at the end of the day special teams is a third of the game. Offense may win games/sell tickets while defense wins championships, however, that doesn’t mean special teams should be forgotten. In fact, while Bill Belichick and his defense get the bulk of the credit for the New England Patriots Super Bowl LIII victory over the Los Angeles Rams, a huge part of that had to do with the fact that the Rams started from inside their own 10-yard line seemingly every play. Patriots’ Punter Ryan Allen very well could have been Super Bowl MVP, but then the Earth very well may have stopped turning.
So yes, while Licht has drafted kickers, and they do have more of an impact on winning and losing games than punters (again see Aguayo, Roberto), when it comes to special teams, punter was still a need for the Bucs, and Licht addressing it should be applauded.
One person who agrees with the Buccaneers’ draft selection of Camarda is Pat McAfee.
These days, McAfee is known for being the host of the fastest growing sports program (progrum) on both radio and YouTube, as well as being the color commenter for WWE Friday Night Smackdown!. However, in his day, he was a heck of a punter for the Indianapolis Colts, and football player based on his tackling and trick play performances and does all he can to protect the respect of punters #ForTheBrand.
Camarda even has the lettuce coming out of his helmet that McAfee did back in the day. So bonus points there.
Now McAfee may be a funny cat, but he takes his football seriously. While Buccaneers fans may not be THRILLED about the pick, it appears the kid may have some talent. Of course, we were bamboozled and smeckledorfed by Aguayo and Gay, so time will tell.
At the end of the day, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers addressed all of their needs (the few that they had) during the NFL Draft and did a great job doing so. Due to the state of their loaded roster, they were able to afford to spend a fourth-round draft pick on a punter. Jake Camarda more likely than not will be the new starting punter, and fans should get on board the ship with McAfee.