ESPN votes on the best players at the position every year, and using a panel of nine judges, announces the winners at the end of the season. In the punting category, it was Johnny Hekker of the St. Louis Rams who won the award of Punter of the Year.
Hekker received seven of nine votes from the panel, easily walking away with the honor after a record-setting season. The second-year punter out of Oregon State set a league record by averaging a net total of 44.2 yards per punt. He also grossed 46.3 yards per attempt.
Hekker and the rest of his punt crew in St. Louis had a record-setting performance this season, and a lot of it was because of the punting itself.
“It means a lot to me,” Hekker said. “That’s a standard that all punters kind of measure their season to. ‘How was I able to swing the field advantage for my team?’ Thank God I had some of the youngest, most aggressive playmakers that have come up in the NFL this year. All I know is that myself and the 10 others that are with me are part of the best punt team that’s ever played in the NFL. I couldn’t be more proud of the growth that the young guys showed throughout the whole season.