P Corey Bojorquez – 8aa
K Wil Lutz – 8aaf
Wil Lutz is an absolute home-town favorite and he’s lived up to all the cheers he’s gotten, becoming a very reliable kicker. Yes, he’s missed some in the past, but he’s still very reliable from all distances. Corey Borjorquez has also become very reliable pinning teams back when he punts, coming off a year where he averaged 45.2 yard per punt.
Top Return Specialists: Brandon Boykin, Penny Hart, Kyran Moore, Steven Sims
Replacing everything Trindon Holliday was able to do as a return man is going to be a major challenge. It’s been a long time since Brandon Boykin has been asked to return kicks and punts, mostly because the extra hits he’d have to take risk injury to a top defensive back. He’s been solid returning kicks, but it really doesn’t look like he’ll have to because Penny Hart, Kyran Moore and Steven Sims have all done very well in camp returning the ball. There really isn’t much differentiating these guys from one another but Kyran Moore might be leading the pack overall.
K Harrison Butker – 8aa
P Joe Zema – 7a
Harrison Butker did something that was almost impossible to think of, being named the SFL Grand Finale MVP award as the Predators won it all last year. He was on fire that game, but he still needs to be better and more consistent throughout the long season. He made only 86.8% of his field goals last year with quite a few misses coming inside 50 yards, as well as some PAT missed. Still, he’s a very confident kicker. Joe Zema has shown he has an okay leg, but nothing too spectacular.
Top Return Specialists: Blake Countess, Rashad Fenton, Alvin Kamara
Putting Alvin Kamara out there for returns might be a risk because he will take some extra hits, but it might be worth it because he is so explosive. Rashad Fenton is better than Blake Countess, but he is well behind Kamara.
P/K Jack Fox
6a – As a Kicker
6aa – As a Punter
K Jason Sanders – 7a
P Marquette King – 10
Jack Fox is coming off a mediocre at best D-League season showing just a so-so leg, but his history in college is much stronger than what he did in the D-League. He has shown improvement from the beginning to the end of camp. But he didn’t attempt any kicks in the D-League. That might have been a missed opportunity because Jason Sanders certainly isn’t a lock. He’s missed too many extra points. He’s just inconsistent at times. He’s serviceable, but inconsistent. Mike Scifres retired, so in comes the polarizing, but dynamic Marquette King. He’s got a great leg despite his antics.
Top Return Specialists: Trent Steelman, LaRico Steveson, Michael Walker
Michael Walker had a great D-League season returning both kicks and punts and he very well secure himself in that role. LaRico Stevenson has made his name as a very effective return man, but he’s having a tough time holding off the younger Walker from the job. Stevenson is still a very good option, but Walker has been a bit better so far. Trent Steelman is not showing much explosiveness. He shouldn’t be used as a kick returner but he does have some sure hands fielding punts. But don’t expect long breakaways.
K/P Kenny Allen
8aa – As a Kicker
7aa – As a Punter
P Trevor Daniel – 8aa
Buffalo is pretty set at kicker and punter. Kenny Allen could punt if needed, but he’s been solid as a kicker. He did miss four PATs last season, which was quite disappointing, but he’s been in a zone in training camp. Trevor Daniel has a history of being a very good, consistent punter.
Top Return Specialists: WR Bralon Addison, J.J. Jones, Desmond King, Diontae Spencer
Buffalo could use somebody really stepping up as a returner because none of the guys they have put out there have really made a strong case for themselves to be a long-term option back there fielding returns. Bralon Addison has been significantly improving the most during training camp and Desmond King is naturally a fairly explosive guy so he could be getting better.
K Jake Elliott – 6aa
P Donnie Jones – 8aa
It’s surprising there was no competition brought in for Jake Elliott because he was so inconsistent last year. He missed from every distance, missed far more often than a reliable kicker should have. But, in his defense, he has been pretty strong in camp this year and his history might point to last year just being an off year. Donnie Jones’ yards per punt wasn’t great last year, but poor punt coverage led to a bad net and that ultimately led to Jones trying to go toward the sidelines more, which led to shorter punts. His leg is better than the numbers from last season showed.
Top Return Specialists: Tarik Cohen, Nick Williams
Tarik Cohen is just a natural explosive player in space so he’s when he’s back as a returner he’s going to be able to bust some big plays. Again, it’s always the risk to put him out for those hits if he’s going to be the lead running back, but he could also be a true weapon back here. Nick Williams absolutely could spell in there to relieve Cohen at times. Williams has a strong history in college of returning and has performed well this training camp.
P/K Jamie Gillan
6a – As a Kicker
8aa – As a Punter
K Cole Hedlund – 7aa
K Younghoe Koo – 6a
P Jeff Locke – 8a
Cole Hedlund really made a great case to make this team after a tremendous d-league season and training camp. He has shown some nice consistency past 50 yards even. We could be seeing him instead of Younghoe Koo this year, who failed to make a field goal past 50 yards last year and struggled from less than 50 yards as well. He missed a number of field goals and extra points last year. It wasn’t a good showing. Jeff Lock has a consistent leg. He might have a bit of a cap on his distance, but he will regularly get the ball down the field a nice distance. It will be very interesting to see who gets the job between him and rookie Jamie Gillan, who has done very well for himself in camp. He’s got a better leg, but with his youth he’s slightly less consistent.
Top Return Specialists: Deonte Harris, Daniel Peterman
Daniel Peterman set a record last year with an absolutely unthinkable 49.2 yards per kick return last season with over 20 returns. Now, he broke quite a few super long returns, it wasn’t consistently about 50 yards. Don’t expect those kind of numbers ever again, but he’s clearly an explosive return man, at least on kicks. Peterman hasn’t had much success returning punts, but Deonte Harris absolutely can be that explosive punt returner. Harris is explosive at both jobs. The Explorers have some great options.
P Sergio Castillo – 9a
K Lewis Ward – 6a
While Sergio Castillo is definitely one of the best punters in the league, with a booming leg and accuracy, Lewis Ward is not a reliable kicker. Last year he missed a number of extra points, made only 78.8% of his field goals, and missed from all distances. He hasn’t shown to be too much better this preseason. They could be eyeing another kicker during the preseason.
Top Return Specialists: Jalin Marshall, Damion Ratlev, Tavierre Thomas
Jalin Marshall is clearly the top return option here. He’s always been an explosive player back there returning kicks and punts but Tavierre Thomas can get the job done too. Damion Ratlev should be nothing more than an emergency option behind these two.
P Jake Bailey – 8aa
K Giorgio Tavecchio – 10
It might be an odd thing to say about a kicker, but Giorgio Tavecchio had as much to do with the then Oakland Odyssey getting into the playoffs as anybody. Now in Indianapolis, kicking in a dome, it is hard to see him not being money on his kicking attempts again. The team also made a strong investment on Jake Bailey as well, and he’s been tremendous in showing off an elite level leg in training camp. The Speed might have the best specialists duo around.
Top Return Specialists: Quadree Henderson, Nyheim Hines, Trindon Holliday, Dexter McCluster, Tim White
The Indianapolis Speed have an embarrassment of riches for return men. First, they have the legendary Trindon Holliday leading the pack. Even at 33-years-old, Holliday is still showing incredibly explosive ability back returning. So will there be options for Nyheim Hines, or Dexter McCluster or Quadree Henderson or Tim White to return anything? All of those players could be quality return men for most teams.
K Roberto Aguayo – 8a
P Tom Hackett – 10
K/P Marc Orozco
8aa – As Kicker
6a – As Punter
Marc Orozco was perfect in the D-League. He wasn’t really tested on long kicks, though, but inside 50 he’s been remarkable. They did try him as a punter in the D-League as well but he proved he should not be an option at punter. Still, he could do it in emergency situations if there was an injury. But they don’t need him to be an option at punter because Tom Hackett was elite last season for the Los Angeles Stars, averaging 47.2 yards per punt. Orozco could be in an interesting preseason battle against Roberto Aguayo, however. It isn’t that Aguayo hasn’t been good, he has been, but he hasn’t been perfect either. It might be a toss up for who makes the team and the loser could still find a job somewhere else.
Top Return Specialists: Jeremy Lane, Kelvin McKnight, Kareem Orr, Hunter Renfrow, Warren Wand
Out of this group, it is really just a two-man race between Kelvin McKnight and Warren Wand. Both have done fairly well. Hunter Renfrow has great hands, so he could be a hand team option on punt returns but don’t expect many quality returns.
Los Angeles Avengers
K Matt Gay – 7aa
P Mitch Wishnowsky – 7aa
Matt Gay and Mitch Wishnowsky both had pretty quality D-League performances. Matt Gay missed a few times very long, but overall he was tremendously consistent. Wishnowsky could use a bit more boom on his punts, but he was pretty precise. He has some technique to work on and that should only lead to him getting better in the future.
Top Return Specialists: Cedric Battle, Jakeem Grant
Jakeem Grant has been tremendous returning kicks and that really is his niche in this league. He’s not the best receiver around, but he’s around because of his explosive return ability. Cedric Battle did have a very good d-league season returning kicks as well, so he can do the job well, but he’ll be a second option for a team with a top guy.
K Greg Joseph – 6a
P Dalton Schomp – 8a
Dalton Schomp is a solid punter, who averaged 42.8 yard per punt last season, and has a strong history of relative consistency behind him. Gregory Joseph, however. He’s not too inspiring. He is coming off a poor season and while he’s had some moments, he’s had quite a few bad misses.
Top Return Specialists: Avonte Maddox, JoJo Natson, Naaman Roosevelt
JoJo Natson has done well returning kicks for a few years and it doesn’t look like he’ll be replaced too soon. That being said, Naaman Roosevelt hasn’t had to be a return man lately, but he has a history of it and as a backup option, he has done well. And so hd Avante Maddox, but Natson is clearly the best option here.
K Nick Folk – 9
P Matt Haack – 9
P Shane Tripucka – 9
Miami has an embarrassment of riches and two punters who should be starting in the league. One of them will likely be released. They should find a new job right away. All of these guys are quality. Shane Tripucka and Matt Haack might end up coming down to a coin flip to determine who gets the job as a punter. Nick “The Cockblocker” Folk is very safe and very reliable at kicker.
Top Return Specialists: Braxton Berrios, Zac Stacy, Mark Walton
Interestingly, Miami has some quality options at punt returner, lead by Braxton Berrios, who is coming off a very successful rookie season in which he averaged 16.0 yards per return. However, if the Mustangs don’t want to risk him on special teams because they expect him to be a top receiving threat, he could go with Mark Walton. He’s not quite as explosive as a punt returner, but he’s still a solid option. But neither are particularly explosive as kick returners. They might still be on the lookout for a person to return kicks. Zac Stacy is a veteran with return experience.
P Riley Dixon – 10
K Alex Henery – 7
Alex Henery has been around with the Stags for a while, but he hasn’t been overly clutch and he’s had a few bad misses. He could be on a short leash this year after missing eight field goals of less than 50 yards last season. Riley Dixon is top notch at punter, however. He’s a weapon for the defense, constantly pinning opponents back in deep territory.
Top Return Specialists: Cre’Von LeBlanc, Marlon Mack, William Stanback, Darius Phillips
Darius Phillips was mediocre at best returning kicks last year, but he is showing he’s gotten better this year at both kicks and punts. William Stanback in a very, very small sample size had success last year, but he’s been just okay this year. Marlon Maack and Cre’Von LeBlanc are usable options as well, but really, this job is Phillips by a long way.
K Rene Paredes – 7d
P Ryan Winslow – 10
Rene Paredes has been around for a while but he’s starting to lose some consistency and accuracy as he’s getting older. He’s not bad, he’s just not what he once was. Ryan Winslow, though, is the cream of the crop. He proved to be an amazing addition last season after a terrible start by Austin Barnard last year led to a change.
Top Return Specialists: Jalen Allison, Cameron Batson, Antonio Brown, Darius Shepherd
Antonio Brown is coming into the league on a big contract and expectations to do pretty much everything. Of course, he’s a guy who has explosive ability and can return kicks and punts, but Cameron Batson is a quality option as well who did well last season. Darius Shepherd has shown solid ability as a punt returner, but he really hasn’t shown too much as a kick returner. Jalen Allison doesn’t look comfortable fielding kicks and punts.
P Tom Hornsey – 9
K Sawyer Petre – 7
Sawyer Petre is more accurate than his 88.9% last season showed, just due to a lack of volume on his attempts. But part of that lack of volume had to do with a weak leg. He’s not reliable from a distance. In fact, his longest make last year was just 43 yards. He’ll make them inside of that but they need someone who can boot it farther. Tom Hornsey at least is a top punter around. He’s a weapon for the defense pinning opponents deep regularly.
Top Return Specialists: Sherman Badie, Jeremy Kerley
Mississippi could be on the lookout for a return man as other teams make cuts. Sherman Badie was fairly disappointing last year as their main return man and he hasn’t shown much improvement. Jeremy Kerley is a capable veteran but does not bring explosiveness back there either.
K/P Ty Long
10 – As a Kicker
10 – As a Punter
P Justin Vogel – 7a
P Matt Wile – 8a
Ty Long has proven himself as a top notch kicker. He’s as good as they come and is accurate from distance. But he’s also pretty proven as a punter. Last year, Long averaged a remarkable 48.4 yards per punt pulling double duty as a kicker and punter. Nearly 50 yards per punt is amazing, and it was at a high consistent volume too. Because he is naturally a kicker more than a punter, the Renegades brought in two punters in case Long showed any regression, but he absolutely did not. Justin Vogel and Matt Wile both have performed well in camp, but Long has been better and considering his dual-position ability, the Renegades could have an opportunity to open up a roster spot by using him for both jobs.
Top Return Specialists: Ishmael Adams, Tyreek Hill
Nashville isn’t deep with their return men but they have two great ones. Tyreek Hill is as dangerous as they come and is a threat to take it to the house every single time. And with that said, Ishmael Adams is a very dangerous player as well. He’s not the elite athlete Hill is, but with Hill constantly having to take some breaks as he’s running up and down the field on offense, Adams is an elite return man in his own right.
New Orleans Nightmare
P Zachary Block – 6a
K/P Lance Geesey
6a – As a Punter
8a – As a Kicker
Zachary Block had a pretty disappointing D-League season as a punter, failing to even average 40 yards per punt. Expect the Nightmare to keep an eye around the league for a better punter who might get cut. They should not have to worry about Lance Geesey, though. He was very good last year and he’s getting better as he gets more experience, more poised and better with his technique.
Top Return Specialists: Dante Redwood
As good as the Nightmare have been the past two seasons, their return game has been very disappointing. Last year they had maybe the worst return game in the league. This year, they haven’t made any significant investment in bringing in a return man. Dante Redwood is definitely the best option, and perhaps the only real option with any history as a return man. He’s just been okay in camp, though. Don’t expect him to be a guy who can flip field position.
New York Marauders
K Trevor Moore – 7aa
K/P Kaare Vedvik
7a – As a Kicker
9a – As a Punter
The Marauders have an interesting decision to make whether they continue with Kaare Vedvik as a dual-position player or if they go with Trevor Moore as their kicker. Vedvik as a rookie proved his elite ability as a punter. Even that production still doesn’t make it ever possible for the Marauders to ever get full value from what they traded to get a specialist, but he’s safely on their roster in some way. The question is Trevor Moore. Last year, the kicker was perfect in Houston, but he wasn’t overly tested from distance. He actually never attempted a FG from a long distance. If the Marauders do decide to keep Moore because he is more accurate at shorter distances, it is possible they continue to use Vedvik at key long distance field goal attempts as his leg is better, though less accurate.
Top Return Specialists: Dalton Crossan, Stefon Diggs, R.J. Harris, Ty Johnson, Jacquizz Rodgers
As talented and as explosive as Stefon Diggs and Jacquizz Rodgers are, it really might not make much sense for the Marauders to use either as return men very often. Those two are key parts of their offense and need to remain fresh, but the reason they can afford to keep those elite athletes off the field on special teams is because of Ty Johnson. The rookie running back is a very quick and fast player who can make plays in the return game. R.J. Harris has had a few opportunities in the league before but has really honed his craft in the CFL and is back and showing he can be a solid return option too. Dalton Crossan is an all around quality special teams player. If he makes the team out of a loaded backfield it will be because of his ability on special teams.
K/P Brett Maher
7 – As a Kicker
7 – As a Punter
Brett Maher’s value comes from his ability to perform as both a kicker and punter, saving a roster spot. But he’s only okay at either job. The Express could improve in both spots, but it depends on what the Express value.
Top Return Specialists: Mike Boone, Brandon Powell, Jalen Richard, Lucky Whitehead
It’s not easy to think about replacing a player like LaRico Stevenson, but the Express are in a much better position this year with a deeper crop of return men this year. Lucky Whitehead has made his name known as a return man and he’s still just in his athletic prime. He can be a big playmaker as a return man. Jalen Richard is another great option. He’s shown quality ability as a return his entire career and hasn’t slowed down. Mike Boone is coming off a quality D-League season but he and Brandon Powell are a far step behind Richard and Whitehead.
K Brett Lauther – 6
K Justin Medlock – 7
P Jon Ryan – 8
Justin Medlock has been around with the Rockets for a long time, but he’s only okay. He is becoming less accurate and less reliable from a distance. The Rockets attempted to bring in some competition with Brett Lauther, but he didn’t do well in camp, missing quite a bit more often. Medlock might be able to survive again. Jon Ryan is getting older, but he’s still solid at punter and a welcome addition from Oakland.
Top Return Specialists: William Powell, Byron Pringle
Orlando is starting from scratch as return man as Quadree Henderson was pretty much their exclusive return man last year and he is no longer around. Byron Pringle was an okay kick returner in the d-league while William Powell, it’s been a while for him, but he’s performed decent enough during training camp.
K Andrew Franks – 6
Philadelphia is in a bad way at special teams and failed to address it at all in the offseason. They will have to find a punter as soon as they can because Andrew Franks just isn’t capable of playing that role at the professional level. He really isn’t capable of being a pro kicker. Andrew Franks missed nearly 25% of the time last year. He does have distance on his kicks, but very little accuracy.
Top Return Specialists: Garry Brown, Trace McSorley
Garry Brown has been a great surprise carving out a role as a top tier return man in the league. Two years ago he set a record returning punts and he showed that same explosive ability last year. He’s the guy who will be returning kicks and punts full time for the Bulldogs. They have worked out quarterback Trace McSorley back there too and he’s actually done a fairly decent job as a second option.
K Austin MacGinnis – 7aa
P Colton Schmidt – 7a
Austin MacGinnis is a fine kicker. Distance might be a worry, he’s very accurate at shorter distances. That would be just fine for Pittsburgh, because their offense doesn’t usually stall before they get close to the endzone. Colton Schmidt is a good enough punter. Neither guy will likely be All-League, but neither guy will be a problem.
Top Return Specialists: Devontae Booker, Rashad Ross, Wendell Smallwood, Frankie Williams
Pittsburgh doesn’t have a ton of great options at return man. Wendell Smallwood was not good in the job last year and he isn’t looking any better this year. Devontae Booker has been thrown back there in training camp and he has some explosive ability we all know about and he does show it off, but he’s not overly consistent back there. Rashad Ross and Frankie Williams might be the duo back there. Ross has looked pretty good as a kick returner but has struggled returning punts. Frankie Williams has been doing well returning punts but hasn’t been doing well returning kicks.
K Taylor Russolino – 7aa
P A.J. Cole – 6aa
Cole has some precision on his punt, but distance was not what was hoped by hime in the D-League, just 41.7 yard per punt. He has room to improve, however. Taylor Russolino does have a great leg, and could prove to be a solid special teams weapon for the expansion Bandits in 2020.
Top Return Specialists: Brandon Banks, Duron Carter, Jeremiah Johnson, Jamel Lyles
Brandon Banks has made his career being a quality return man and while at 32 years old he’s not as explosive as he used to be, he’s still likely the guy they will turn to. The triple-threat Duron Carter does continue to show explosive ability as a return man as well, so Banks might have some good competition. It might also depend on if Banks shows anything as a position player too if there is any need for roster flexibility. Jeremiah Johns and Jamel Lyles are depth options but not top return options.
San Antonio Marshalls
K Drew Brown – 8
P Joe Davidson – 8
Drew Brown didn’t show a ton of leg last year. He’s still a solid option at kicker, though. Joe Davidson is a good middle-of-the-road punter. He’s nothing special but he isn’t bad at all.
Top Return Specialists: Josh Atkinson, Linell Bonner, Armanti Foreman, Patrick Levels, Gary McKnight
San Antonio is trying a slew of decent athletes back at return man but none of them seem particularly natural back there. Armanti Foreman is probably leading the pack. He doesn’t have much history returning kicks or punts, but he is a very good athlete and has shown some decent vision back there. Gary McKnight has been tried as a return man in the D-League, but just doesn’t look overly comfortable, but continued reps is making him better. Of the other guys, Josh Atkinson shows the most burst after Foreman.
San Diego Diablos
K Michael Badgley – 7a
K John Baron II – 6a
P Lachlan Edwards – 9aa
P Tyler Newsome – 6aa
John Barron II really struggled with his accuracy in the D-League. Against a veteran like Michael Badgley, he did nothing to make a case for staying on the roster. Tyler Newsome, however, did make a case with a decent d-league effort, but against Lachlan Edwards, he’s not going to win that battle. Lachlan Edwards is right in his prime and has a chance to be the best punter in the league this year with his consistently improving distance.
Top Return Specialists: Shiloh Keo, Allen Lazard, Nick Wilson
Nick Wilson did quite a good job as the Diablos’ return man last season and isn’t going to be threatened by Shiloh Keo or Allen Lazard this year. Lazard tried some kicks last year in New Orleans, but wasn’t particularly successful at it. He’s done a bit better this training camp in San Diego, but still doesn’t look particularly explosive back there. Shiloh Keo hasn’t been a main return man since college but he’s still got some ability back there and is clearly the No. 2 guy behind Wilson.
K/P Boris Bede
7a – As a Kicker
8aa – As a Punter
K Justin Yoon – 6a
The harsh angles kicking from college hash marks can make college kickers look worse than they are from a short distance. However, he didn’t show he was much better from the pro hash marks and distance has always been a bit of a problem. The Orcas were hoping to find their new kicker because Boris Bede isn’t really a kicker, but he did do a pretty solid job kicking last year. Bede is a pretty good punter so he’s safely on the roster. It’s just up to the Orcas if they are confident in him enough to be their kicker pulling double-duty.
Top Return Specialists: Armanti Edwards, Janarion Grant, Gunner Olszewski
Janarion Grant was so good returning last year he booted Brandon Banks off the roster basically. He’s definitely Seattle’s guy. He’s carved out his role as a pro as an explosive return man. That is why he’s going to stick around and he’ll make big plays doing it. Armanti Edwards and Gunner Olszewski could mix it up as the second guy. Edwards is probably more athletic, but he’s also getting old and is past his athletic prime. Olszewski has some nice quickness and good vision and hands fielding those kicks and punts.
St. Louis Stallions
K Andrew Baggett – 6a
P Alex Knight – 7a
Andrew Baggett really shouldn’t be relied upon or trusted as the Stallions kicker, but despite his consistent struggles last season they never went a different direction. You’d think that confidence in him would help him improve, but it really hasn’t. He hasn’t been any better. Alex Knight is a good enough punter to not be a worry.
Top Return Specialists: Rashad Greene, Isaiah McKenzie, Elijah Marks
Rashad Greene hasn’t been happy that he was an All-Rookie team return man in Orlando and has had his job taken away in St. Louis. He used that anger as fuel because this training camp he’s been incredible returning kicks. He’s on a mission to not only solidify his job as the Stallions return man, but also to contend for all-league selection. Elijah Marks and Isaiah McKenzie got a lot of work last year returning more than Greene did. Both are decent options, but Greene has put himself well ahead right now.
K/P Ryan Hawkins
8aa – As a Kicker
8aa – As a Punter
It’s Ryan Hawkins’ second stint with the Utah Raptors. He was with them three years ago but didn’t make the team. He went to the d-league and took advantage of the opportunity and earned another opportunity with the team. Now, he’s a fast-rising dual-threat specialist with potential to be All-SFL in the coming years.
Top Return Specialists: Martavis Bryant, Keenan Reynolds, Kenny Shaw, Duke Shelley, Brandon Thompkins
Keenan Reynolds proved to be one of the top return men in the league the last two years. He’s just an explosive and talented player and it doesn’t look like there is much competition against him for the job. Brandon Thompkins was brought in because of his history returning kicks and punts, but he’s showing his age right now and has clearly lost a step. Martavis Bryant is an interesting option. He has a solid history returning the ball and his explosive ability but he also has little consistency. Kenny Shaw is a capable option, but not at all inspiring. Neither is Duke Shelley. It’s Reynold’s job, but after him it might be a bit of a worry.
K/P Lirim Hajrullahu
7a – As a Kicker
7a – As a Punter
Lirim Hajrullahu was the Virginia Admirals’ MVP last season. That still doesn’t say too much because he was only mediocre. He missed his fair share of field goals and extra points. He’s still got some room to improve and maybe with a better team and team and more confidence in the locker room, he could be better.
Top Return Specialists: Ray Lawry, Lyle McCombs, Tommy Shuler, Greg Stroman
Greg Stroman was solid, but not great, returning kicks last season. He’s been about the same in training camp this year. Tommy Shuler is in the same boat as a punt returner. But he also was pretty good last year and looks to be pretty good this year. Shuler is also improving as a kick returner this year. Lyle McCombs and Ray Lawry are getting some work but neither look overly comfortable returning.
K Tyler Rausa – 6a
P Austin Rehkow – 6a
K Cole Tracy – 6aa
Teams seem to like Tyler Rausa, but it isn’t really clear what he has done to make himself a viable option. He made just 85% of his attempts in the D-League, with a long field goal of 42 yards. Inaccurate without a big leg isn’t a good combination. Cole Tracy has a lot more potential. He’s got a pretty solid leg, but just needs to work to get better. Austin Rehkow didn’t show too much of a leg last year.
Return Specialists Will Likely, De’Mornay Pierson-El, Cortrelle Simpson
When Will Likely has the ball in his hands in open space he’s a dangerous player. He always has been and he’s looking that way in training camp. Without Tyreek Hill, he’s the clear top guy at return man, but don’t sleep on Cortrelle Simpson. He had a quality d-league season returning kicks and is looking very good in camp too. De’Mornay Pierson-El should only be an emergency option.
SFL Top 5 Specialists
1. K/P Ty Long (Nashville Renegades)
2. P Tom Hackett (Jacksonville Stingrays)
3. K Giorgio Tavecchio (Indianapolis Speed)
4. P Marquette King (Boston Dragons)
5. P Riley Dixon (Michigan Stags)
By the Numbers:
Total Specialists: 77
10 Rating: 7 (9.0%)
9 Rating: 7 (9.0%)
8 Rating: 20 (25.9%)
7 Rating: 23 (29.8%)
6 Rating: 20 (25.9%)
Top 5 Return Men:
1. Tyreek Hill (Nashville Renegades)
2. Garry Brown (Philadelphia Bulldogs)
3. Rashad Greene (St. Louis Stallions)
4. Ishmael Adams (Nashville Renegades)
5. Tarik Cohen (Carolina Generals)