Bills select San Diego St. punter Matt Araiza in sixth round of 2022 NFL Draft

Though the Buffalo Bills got the third punter of the 2022 NFL Draft’s final day, they certainly got the one with the most fanfare.

Overflowing with accolades and a pious sobriquet, San Diego State punter Matt Araiza is going from the sunny skies of Southern California to the wintery winds of Buffalo, as the Bills selected him with the No. 180 overall pick in the sixth round on Saturday.

Labeled the “Punt God,” Araiza set an NCAA record with a 51.2-yard average on his punts in 2021. His big leg led him to being named the 2021 Ray Guy Award (nation’s top punter) winner and a first-team AP All-American.

However, for all the pomp and ballyhoo surrounding the special teams immortal, he was the third punter selected in the draft, following Penn State’s Jordan Stout to the Ravens (fourth round, No. 130) and Georgia’s Jake Camarda to the Buccaneers (fourth round, No. 133).

Though the Bills are hardly known for punting, on the rare occasions they do, Araiza will be expected to tip the field and also be a weapon on kickoffs (he had 62 touchbacks in 73 kickoffs).

Bringing as much star power as a punter can, Araiza will also bring some questions, though, as he was a three-time All-CIF San Diego Section kicker at Rancho Bernando High before becoming an All-Mountain West Conference standout for the Aztecs. Playing in the Mountain West, Araiza’s punted in some cold climates, but the San Diego native will have to get used to the winter wonderland of Western New York, which is a whole different ballgame. Nonetheless, the “Punt God” is headed to the AFC East champions.

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