First, the 84-yard punt everybody is talking about. Unlike most extra-long punts, there's not much gimmick to this one. 65-yards in the air, and the rotation gives him a solid bounce pic.twitter.com/rwPz56Jmte
— Alex Barth (@RealAlexBarth) April 27, 2019
By Matt Dolloff, 985TheSportsHub.com
Punter Jake Bailey was one of the Patriots' most surprising picks in the 2019 NFL Draft. Bill Belichick traded up in the fifth round to get him, and a quick look at his highlights shows why. Kid has a cannon.
There's no better example of Bailey's mortar leg than when he launched it for a total of 84 yards against Cal. You can watch the punt in the video above, via Alex Barth of CLNS Media on Twitter. The ball goes about 65 yards through the air, and the spin gives it a favorable bounce toward the end zone.
"That was a pretty fun play for me," Bailey told reporters in his introductory conference call on Saturday. "I kind of just put the ball up into the jet stream and the wind kind of took it a little bit and the returner didn't catch it. It was a really fun play. Definitely one for my highlight film."
With the Patriots, Bailey will have to work on his touch. As impressive as Bailey's leg is, Bill Belichick can't have 84-yard touchbacks. But Bailey also has experience on kickoffs, which may present some competition for Stephen Gostkowski in that role.
What can't be denied about Bailey at this point is that he can bomb it with the best of them. We'll see how much he can refine his techniques to punt with more feel to it. But at the very least, his kicks will be as fun to watch as kicks can be.
Matt Dolloff is a digital producer for 985TheSportsHub.com. Any opinions expressed do not necessarily reflect those of 98.5 The Sports Hub, Beasley Media Group, or any subsidiaries. Have a news tip, question, or comment for Matt? Follow him on Twitter @mattdolloff or email him at [email protected].