I did an analysis of Shane Lechler's 2011 year and how impressive it was . At $4M/year, it should be impressive. Moving on and looking to the future, we have an undrafted free agent rookie punter in camp who was gaining notoriety for his Reggie Roby-esque punting prowess at Fort Valley State University in the SIAC (Southern Intercollegiate Athletic Conference). The young man has been touted because of his powerful leg, having punted an 80 yarder in the air, and so I am very curious to see this rookie punt and see what he has to offer. Most likely he's just a "Camp Leg" to give Lechler a rest. One of Lechler's underappreciated attributes is his ability to stay healthy, but you never know what can happen during the course of a Pre-season and season. And 2012 is Lechler's final year on his League Leading contract, so we may see more of Marquette in 2013.
To that end, I wanted to take a look at Marquette's stats and just see what I could learn about the young man from a statistical perspective. Here it is.
The full blog entry includes charts and graphs that are left out of this posting.
His total stats for 2011 were : 10 Games, 60 punts, 2582 yards, 42.04 yards per punt.
(Lechler : 16 Games, 78 Punts, 3960 yards, 50.8 yards per punt)
As you might imagine, Fort Valley State University doesn't make it onto many stats pages and so I could only find detailed stats for 5 of Marquette King's games from 2011 : Delta, Tuskeegee, Morehouse, Stillman, Kentucky State
And here's are the breakdowns based on 31 punts (out of a total of 60).
The average for this sample is 43.5, so we should expect that this is a relatively good sample for King's punting.
Gross Yardage from Punting zone:
Marquette is the Blue line and Shane is the Red line. The x-axis is the line of scrimmage from where he punted and the y-axis is the Gross punting yardage.
You can see that Shane is much more consistent and consistently punting farther. His grosses overall outpace Marquette.
Here's a scatter graph depicting where the the punting distribution.
The x-axis is against Line of scrimmage and the y-axis is the yard line where the ball was punt to (either caught or where it finished rolling). The 100 yard line is the endzone and indicates touchback.
Again, we see that Lechler outpaces King often in the "long" zone.
What is nice is that King is generally getting good distance on his punts. He's getting balls beyond the 80 early and often and keeping the ball from touchbacks for the most part. From 0-20, where getting long distance and good height/hangtime is most important, King is very inconsistent. The variation in his punts is about 20 yards, meaning he is as likely to punt the ball 35 yards as he is 55 yards.
But from 25 yards one, he is very good, getting around 50 yard punts that are getting near the opponent's 20. From 30 yards on, while his gross punting drops, he's peppering the 10 yard line.
This initial look at his punting profile was auspicious; it appears that he matches Lechler in many punting regions and he's not that far off in the others. He's already got the leg strength and he also appears to have very good inside-20 control. Just more consistency in the long punting zone and he'll be a viable punter with significant headroom. How much of punting translates from NCAA to NFL? Will he be ready by 2013 or will someone else like the Steelers or Cowboys pick him up? I'm curious and for the first time in years, I'll be paying attention to the Raiders' preseason PUNTING.