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Jordan Stout Possesses Skills To Be ‘Long-Term’ NFL Punter

After a successful college career, Jordan Stout is primed to be the next Penn State football specialist to make an impact at the next level.

Stout came to Happy Valley as a transfer from Virginia Tech after the 2018 season and immediately became a household name among Nittany Lions fans. With Blake Gillikin handling punting duties in 2019, Stout served as Penn State’s kickoff specialist and long-distance field goal kicker during his first season donning the blue and white.

His booming right leg turned heads, and he set himself up for a bigger role heading into the 2020 season. With Gillikin off to the NFL, Stout took over as Penn State’s punter and continued to fill his previous roles as the Nittany Lions’ kickoff man and long-range field goal kicker. Stout had an up-and-down season punting the ball and averaged 41.5 yards per punt. However, if anything, it served as a springboard to the versatile specialist’s incredible 2021 season.

Stout was Penn State’s full-time punter, kicker, and kickoff man during the 2021 season. He emerged as one of the best punters in the country, as he punted it 67 times for an average of 46 yards per punt. Additionally, he pinned 35 punts inside the opponent’s 20-yard line, booted 25 of them 50 or more yards, and topped out with a 76-yard punt. Stout’s impressive campaign earned him Big Ten Punter of the Year honors, and he finished as a finalist for the Ray Guy Award.

His punting ability, paired with his kickoff expertise, is what has allowed Stout’s strong leg to catch the attention of NFL personnel and draft experts. NFL.com’s Lance Zierlein points to Stout’s drive power, hang time, and quick operation as some of his biggest strengths that’ll allow him to have success in the NFL.

“Stout combines quality power with outstanding touch to flip fields and throw darts depending upon his positioning,” Zierlein wrote. “He hangs the ball up to limit returns and rarely boots it into the end zone. He’s consistent and works with quick operation time. He has the makings of a steady, long-term NFL punter.”

Among Stout’s weaknesses, Zierlein believes Stout is an average directional punter and noted his 69.5% field goal percentage in 2021. However, as Zierlein points out in Stout’s draft profile, the Nittany Lion will likely be a full-time punter at the next level, so the field goal percentage is basically a moot point.

Pro Football Network’s Oliver Hodgkinson even went as far as to compare Stout to longtime NFL punter Johnny Hekker. Hekker, who is a four-time first-team All-Pro, spent 10 seasons with the Rams before being released this offseason and signing with the Panthers.

Last month, Hodgkinson had the Rams taking Stout in the seventh round with the No. 251 overall pick in his mock draft. Hodgkinson has Stout ranked as the No. 264 overall player in the draft, which puts the specialist right on the brink of undrafted territory.

In December 2021, Reese’s Senior Bowl Executive Director Jim Nagy took to Twitter to rave about Stout’s potential. Nagy said he’s heard from “top kicking gurus” that Stout is among the best punting prospects to enter the draft in the last five to 10 years. He added that Stout is “safely draftable” and carries a mid-round grade around the league.

At the Senior Bowl earlier this year, Stout shined to the tune of a 49.5-yard per punt average, with one going a whopping 75 yards. Additionally, he dropped two of his four punts inside the 15-yard line.

Despite whether Stout gets drafted or not, it’s clear he has all the tools to be a long-term punter for any NFL team. It’s likely he’ll join Gillikin and Robbie Gould as impactful Penn State specialists in the NFL.

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About the Author

Gabe Angieri

Gabe is a senior majoring in journalism and is suddenly Onward State's managing editor. He grew up in Lindenhurst, New York, and has had the absolute misfortune of rooting for the Jets, Mets, and Knicks. If you want to see his bad sports takes, follow him on Twitter @gabeangieri and direct all hate mail and death threats to [email protected]

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