We're just under two weeks away from training camp and over at USA Today Sports their football crew is looking at the positional groups across the NFL heading into camp and ranking them. Recently, they broke down special teams units and coming in at No. 1 was the Los Angeles Rams.
A lot of that has to do with Johhny Hekker, who is regarded as one of, if not the best, punters in the league. Hekker 's accolades are well known with Rams fans, but as USA Today Sports' Nate Davis points out you can't over-emphasize just how much of a weapon he is. The undrafted five-year pro has already made three Pro Bowls and has been a first-team All-Pro selection three times (he was also a second-team selection in 2014).
Here's more from Davis:
1. Los Angeles Rams: It's time Johnny Hekker got his due — and for a team that so badly needs his services. His 51 punts inside the 20 easily led the NFL, yet Hekker only committed one touchback — sublime precision. His 46 net yards per punt were nearly 2 better than any of his peers. And Hekker's background as a quarterback makes him dangerous on fakes whether he's punting or holding for K Greg Zuerlein. The Rams also deployed the league's top coverage teams and limited punt returners to a league-low 4.3 yards per chance. Zuerlein rebounded from a poor 2015 but needs more opportunities from the offense. Tavon Austin and Pharoh Cooper are highly capable return men.
It's rare when anyone outside the punting profession gets excited about punts, but when you have a guy who can boot one 78 yards ALL IN THE AIR and drive the returner back 30 yards to field it it's enough to give you chills.
You know you've done your job well as a punter when the star defensive tackle is the first one to run out on the field and give you dap.
And Hekker's the classiest punter in the NFL to boot.