New England Patriots

Michigan State's Bryce Baringer punts the ball against Rutgers (Michigan State Athletics)

Ever since the Patriots released Jake Bailey in mid-March, the general consensus has been the Patriots would take a punter in the 2023 NFL Draft. It took until the 192nd overall pick, but the Patriots in fact did just that.

With their second pick in the sixth round and ninth pick overall, the team selected Michigan State punter Bryce Baringer on Saturday afternoon. With the pick, Baringer is the first punter off the board in the 2023 NFL Draft.

  • Baringer has the biggest leg of any of the punters in this draft. He led the nation averaging 49 yards per punt, and his career 46 yards per punt are the most in Big Ten history and the sixth-most in NCAA history among qualifying punters. 40 percent of his career punts when over 50 yards, with 34 percent being downed inside the 20. He was the consensus first-team All-American punter in 2022.

    In New England, Baringer will compete with free agent signing Corliss Waitman for the starting punter job. Waitman led the NFL last year with 96 punts, but ranked in the bottom half of the league in most major punting catagories.

  • The Patriots have now added two specialists in this draft, with Baringer joining kicker Chad Ryland from Maryland, who was taken in the fourth round. The two worked together at the Senior Bowl. This makes the Patriots the first team to select a kicker and punter in the same draft since the then-Oakland Raiders in 2000.

    There are two more Patriots selections coming in the sixth round. They’ll be on the clock next with the 210th overall pick.

  • Alex Barth is a writer and digital producer for Any opinions expressed do not necessarily reflect those of 98.5 The Sports Hub, Beasley Media Group, or any subsidiaries. Thoughts? Comments? Questions? Looking for a podcast guest? Let him know on Twitter @RealAlexBarth or via email at

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