Matt Araiza shows strong leg during Buffalo Bills OTAs
The Buffalo Bills rookie punter made some impressive punts in OTAs on Tuesday
The scouting report on Matt Araiza entering the NFL Draft was that he had one of the strongest legs in this year’s draft class. That wasn’t necessarily surprising considering he had five punts last year, rushing for over 70 yards at San Diego State University and averaging over 50 yards per punt.
The Buffalo Bills would draft Araiza in the sixth round and he is now expected to compete with Matt Haack for the starting job this summer.
The Buffalo Bills entered their second week of OTA on Tuesday and Matthew Bove with WKBW captured some highlights from Araiza’s kicks and punts are impressive.
This will be one of the best battles of training camp for the Buffalo Bills, but it could end up coming down to who does a better job for Tyler Bass on field goal attempts.
Who was back for the Buffalo Bills punts?
While the focus was on Araiza in the video, we also get a glimpse of who could return punts for the Buffalo Bills. In the videos, three players are back on punts and they include undrafted free agents Raheem Blackshear and Malik Williams as well as last year’s sixth-round pick Marquez Stevenson.
Stevenson had a chance to return punts in the second half of last year in place of Isaiah McKenzie and had 14 punt returns averaging 9.4 yards per punt. However, he had two fumbles on punt returns.
As for Blackshear and Williams, both have experience returning kickoffs from college, but the majority of Blackshear’s experience comes from returning kickoffs.
This will be another training camp battle to watch for the Buffalo Bills, as these three will likely be joined by Isaiah McKenzie, Micah Hyde and Khalil Shakir in the competition for the punt return position. According to Matt Parrino, Hyde was among a number of players absent from training on Tuesday, and Khalil Shakir was working side by side with coaches.
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