A punter in football is a special team player who receives the snapped ball from the line of scrimmage and then kicks (punts) the ball to the opposing team to limit any field position advantage.
Talking about punters, Shane Lechler is considered the best NFL punter ever in history.
Arguably, some other names, like Yale Lary, Ray Guy, Sammy Baugh, Gil Brandt, and John Hekker, are also considered some of the best punters in the NFL.
John Hekker, Carolina Panthers punter, is set for a reunion with new coordinators Thomas Brown and Ejiro Evero in 2023.
Punters are generally deployed on a fourth down in American football and may occasionally take part in fake punts, where they run with the ball instead of punting.
However, people still consider that punters don’t have much to do during a game. But the truth is, they are an essential part of any team as they allow some time to run down the field and prevent the punt returner.
In addition, punters can work under pressure, catch the snap and hardly miss or drop long snaps.
In this article, we have ranked the 12 best NFL punters who are currently active and playing.
|Name of the players||Team|
|1. Braden Mann||New York Jets|
|2. A.J. Cole||Las Vegas Raiders|
|3. Jack Fox||Detroit Lions|
|4. Andy Lee||Arizona Cardinals|
|5. Blake Gillikin||New Orleans Saints|
|6. Tress Way||Washington Commanders|
|7. Bryan Anger||Dallas Cowboys|
|8. Matt Ammendola||Green Bay Packers|
|9. Jordon Berry||Free Agent|
|10. Pat O’Donnell||Green Bay Packers|
|11. Jake Bailey||New England Patriots|
|12. Brett Kern||Philadelphia Eagles|
12 Best NFL Punters In The World Right Now
The information has been gathered from NFL punter player stats. All the provided stats of the players are as of February 2023.
12. Brett Kern
- Team: Philadelphia Eagles
- Punts: 1,006
- Punting Yards: 46,136
Brett Alan Kern is an NFL punter who plays for the Philadelphia Eagles. Besides, he played for the Denver Broncos (2008-2009) and Tennessee Titans (2009-2021).
Before playing professionally, he played college football in Toledo under the head coach Tom Amstutz. He recorded 189 punts and 7,999 punting yards in his college career.
Kern was named MAC Special Teams Player of the Year in 2007 and to the PFWA All-Rookie Team in his rookie season.
Besides, he was also named to the Pro Bowl three times, First-team All-Pro and Second-team All-Pro.
After the Titans released him on August 29, 2022, Kern joined the Philadelphia Eagles practice squad on December 13, 2022, & later became their active roster on January 7, 2023.
11. Jake Bailey
- Team: New England Patriots
- Punts: 222
- Punting yards: 10,189
Jake Bailey, an NFL punter, was the fifth-round (163rd overall) pick of the New England Patriots in the 2019 NFL Draft.
In his rookie season, he recorded 81 punts for 3,638 yards in the regular season and was named the AFC Special Teams Player for two weeks.
Bailey was also named to the First-team All-Pro in January 2021. He signed a 4-year/$ 13.5 million contract extension. However, he was placed on injured reserve on November 19, 2022.
Before he started to play professionally, he played college football for Stanford. There he recorded a total of 185 units with 8,105 punting yards. Moreover, he recorded the longest punt in the school’s history, i.e., 84 yards.
10. Pat O’Donnell
- Team: Green Bay Packers
- Punts: 616
- Punting yards: 27,764
Patrick Michael O’Donnell is an American football punter who plays for the Green Bay Packers. The Chicago Bears selected Patrick in the sixth round of the 2014 NFL Draft.
Before starting his professional career, O’Donnel played college football for the University of Cincinnati and Miami. Rivals.com rated him a two-star potential recruit in 2008, and he made his collegiate debut with the Bearcats.
Pat won the PFWA All-Rookie Team in 2014 but hasn’t been named to the Pro Bowl yet. As of 2023, O’Donnell’s longest punt is 75 yards.
Moreover, he also achieved the Bears franchise record for most punts in his career with 45 punts.
Patrick signed a two-year contract with the Green Bay Packers on March 18, 2022.
9. Jordon Berry
- Team: Free Agent
- Punts: 389
- Punting yards: 17,360
Jordon Thomas Berry is an Australian professional football punter who is a free agent as of this writing.
He made his NFL debut with the Pittsburgh Steelers and played with the team until 2020. Berry was released on August 26 after signing a one-year contract on March 29, 2021.
The Minnesota Vikings signed the Australian football player on a year-long deal worth $990k on September 2, 2021. The Vikings released the punter on August 25, 2022.
The Pittsburgh Steelers added Berry to their practice squad on September 27, 2022, but released him on October 4.
Berry played college football for Eastern Kentucky and was named OVC All-Newcomer and second team.
8. Matt Ammendola
- Team: Green Bay Packers
- Punts: 6
- Punting yards: 291
Matt Ammendola is an American professional punter who is in the Green Bay Packers practice squad. Previously he played for the Carolina Panthers, New York Jets, Houston Texans, Kansas City Chiefs, Arizona Cardinals, and Green Bay Packers.
After going undrafted in the 2020 NFL Draft, the Carolina Panthers signed Matt but released him in May 2021 and signed a contract with the Jets in July.
Later, Ammendola was released and signed a reserve/future contract with the Jets on January 10, 2022. However, he was released on March 29, 2022.
The American football player was signed by the Texans on August 25, 2022, but was waived two days later.
He also signed with the Kansas City Chiefs and Arizona Cardinals, but it didn’t work out.
On January 3, 2023, Ammendola was signed to the Packers practice squad following an injury to Ramiz Ahmed.
Before playing in the NFL, Matt played college football for Oklahoma State.
In his NFL career so far, he has made 18 field goals in 26 attempts, with his longest field goal coming from 49 yards.
7. Bryan Anger
- Team: Dallas Cowboys
- Punts: 739
- Punting yards: 34,433
Bryan Corey Anger is an American professional football punter who plays for the Dallas Cowboys.
Anger was drafted in the 2012 NFL Draft by the Jacksonville Jaguars. Besides, he has played for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and Houston Texans.
During his college years, he recorded 255 punts with 11,094 net punts and 43.5 punting yards on average.
In his rookie season, Bryan was named to the PFWA All-Rookie team, and in the following year, to the NLF punting yards leader.
With the Buccaneers, he played 48 games, recording 192 punts with a 45-yard average.
The Texans re-signed Anger on a three-year contract extension after signing him on July 23, 2019, and releasing him on August 30, 2019.
Bryan signed a one-year deal on April 7, 2021, and was named for the 2022 Pro Bowl and second-team All-Pro. The Cowboys extended his contract for three-year/$9 million on March 22, 2022.
6. Tress Way
- Team: Washington Commanders / Redskins
- Punts: 653
- Punting yards: 30,676
Tressler Willaim Way, famously known as Tress Way, is an American professional football punter who plays for the Washington Commanders.
Before his professional career, Way played college football at the University of Oklahoma.
Scout and Rivals.com rated him two stars, and ESPN graded him a 78 during his college career. He recorded a total of 10,933 punting yards and 250 punts during his college career.
Way made his NFL debut, undrafted, with the Chicago Bears in 2013 but moved to the Redskins in 2014.
He was named to the Pro Bowl twice (2019, 2022) and second-team All-Pro once (2019). Furthermore, he has a punting average of 47.
5. Blake Gillikin
- Team: New Orleans Saints
- Punts: 160
- Punting yards: 7,527
Blake Thomas Gillikin is one of the newest players on our best NFL punters list, who debuted in 2020. Originally from Georgia, Blake attended Penn State.
Throughout his college career, he recorded 53 punts with seven punts of 65 or more yards. Also, he was selected as an honorable mention for All-Big Ten for his outstanding record of 42.4 yards per punt.
Currently, Gillikin plays for the New Orlean Saints, as the Saints signed him as an undrafted free agent on April 27, 2020. His longest punt is recorded at 68, with 61 inside 20.
Gillikin ended the 2022 regular season ranked fourth in the NFL with 32 punts downed inside-the-20.
4. Andy Lee
- Team: Arizona Cardinals
- Punts: 1,466
- Punting yards: 68,405
Andrew Paul Lee is a professional football punter who currently plays for the Arizona Cardinals. He was drafted by the San Francisco 49ers in the NFL Draft 2004.
Before his professional career, he played college football at the University of Pittsburgh.
After playing for the 49ers, Lee was traded to Cleveland Brown for a seventh-round pick in the 2017 NFL Draft.
On September 4, 2017, the Cardinals signed Lee to a two-year deal after his short stint with the Panthers.
Lee signed a one-year contract extension with the Cardinals on March 22, 2021, and another one-year contract on March 17, 2022.
Andy was selected for the Pro Bowl three times (2007, 2009, and 2011) and was first-team All-Pro (2007, 2011, and 2012).
Similarly, he was the NFL punting yards leader in 2005, 2007, and 2018.
Andrew received the PFW Golden Toe Award in 2011, and his longest punts recorded in the NFL is 82 yards.
3. Jack Fox
- Team: Detroit Lions
- Punts: 176
- Punting yards: 8620
Jack Fox is one of the newest NFL professional punters who, regardless of his age and being a newbie, was named for the 2020 Pro Bowl.
Fox began his professional career with the Kansas City Chiefs as an undrafted free agent on May 4, 2019.
He signed to the Detroit Lions practice squad on December 5, 2019, after being released on November 6.
Fox officially made his NFL debut in 2020, where he made four punts with 197 yards and two punts inside 20. Moreover, he was also named the NFC Special Teams Player for September.
He signed a one-year contract with the Lions, and another three-year/$11.325 million contract extension on October 22, 2022, making him the highest-paid punter in the league.
Fox also had an outstanding college career at Rice University, where he played as a kicker and punter. His college career records 75 punts with 3,051 punting yards.
2. A.J. Cole
- Team: Las Vegas Raiders
- Punts: 234
- Punting yards: 11,106
Another newest player who made it to the best NFL punters list is A.J. Cole III, who plays for the Las Vegas Raiders. He used to play college football at North Carolina State before playing professionally.
During his college career, he recorded 9,288 punting yards with 42.2 yards per punt. Also, he made it to the finals for the Wuerffel Trophy and was awarded an All-American honor in 2017 by GPR Analytics.
A.J. was signed by the Raiders as an undrafted free agent in 2019 and recorded three punts with 134 yards in his debut game.
Furthermore, in the 2020 NFL season, he made 44 punts with an average of 44.1 yards.
Cole signed a four-year/$12.4 million contract extension and was named to the 2022 NFL Pro Bowl.
A.J. started the 2022 season as the caption of the team for the first time in his career. He capped the 2022 season recording 59 punts for 2,884 yards with an average of 48.88.
Although being one of the newest NFL players, Cole has proved he is one of the best punters in the current scene.
1. Braden Mann
- Team: New York Jets
- Punts: 206
- Punting yards: 9,362
Braden Mann is an NFL professional punter and kickoff specialist who plays for the New York Jets. Before his NFL career, he played collegiate football at Texas A&M.
The Jets picked Mann in round 6 of the 2020 NFL Draft. He started his career with 3,598 punting yards with a 43.9 average. Braden was awarded the NFL punting yards leader the same year.
On September 14, 2021, Mann was placed on the injured reserve list and was back on the active roster on November 13. Branden finished the 2021 season recording 83 punts for 3,654 punting yards.
He has won the Ray Guy Award, SEC Special Teams Player of the Year, and a Unanimous All-America.
Punters are one of the significant factors in a football team. It is usually the quarterbacks or sometimes the guards that take the spotlight. However, we cannot forget the quick thinking of the punters to catch a field position battle.
Every year some new punters make it to the best NFL punters list. This time the players mentioned above took over the throne. Did your favorite NFL punter make it to the list? Let us know!
How do you not put Michael Dickson from Seattle on your “list” Never mind this year he managed to punt the ball AFTER his first attempt was blocked, this guy has put up HISTORICAL relevant numbers for punts inside the 5 yard line, the 10 yard line, not to mention his net yards stats put him among the all time greats at his position. Did your parents have any children who lived?
No Dickson? lol