The Baltimore Ravens signed undrafted free agent punter Richie Leone from the University of Houston after the 2014 NFL Draft. Will he take over the job from incumbent Sam Koch?
Koch was not nearly as efficient in 2013 as he had been in years past. His average yards per punt went down only slightly but he was able to get fewer and fewer punts placed inside the 20 when it was needed most. Generally his stats looked pretty good, but if you watched enough games you saw that he struggled at times.
It is still unlikely that the Ravens will release Koch for 2013. He does carry a pretty large amount of money under the salary cap, so things could always happen. Also, releasing Koch could cause issues with the kicking game as he and Justin Tucker work well together.
Leone will be there to push Koch during workouts and at camp. And if he proves himself we could be looking at the first new punter since the 2005 season. Here is a little bit about Leone:
- Averaged 43.1 yards per punt last season.
- Had 14 punts go over 50 yards in 2013.
- Semifinalist for the 2013 Ray Guy Award.
- Second team All-American by the Football Writers Association of America
- Ranked third nationally as 34 of his 73 landed inside the 20 yard line.
- One of five punters that were invited to participate in the 2014 NFL Combine in Indianapolis. He was expected to be drafted in the 7th Round.
- Played in the 2014 East-West Shrine game and averaged 45 yards per punt.
- In college was also the kicker and kickoff specialist.
- His longest college punt was for 77 yards versus Louisiana Tech in 2012.
- Scored 16 points versus Temple in 2013.
- Born March 10, 1992, in Marietta, Ga and attended Roswell (GA) High School.