A new position of intrigue for the Oakland Raiders, of course, is punter after last week’s unexpected release of top-level punter Marquette King.
While King’s release may make the Raiders a less flamboyant team and it saves nearly $3 million, the release means the Raiders have a big hole at the position. King must be replaced.
Friday, we looked at who could replace him. The free-agent well is dry. Although, former Eagles punter Donnie Jones has reportedly decided to continue playing, so he’s an option. Riley Dixon, soon-to-be formerly of the Marquette King Broncos, can be had, too.
The Raiders very well could draft a punter. There are some solid names available. But the one that sticks out appears to be Michael Dickson of Texas. They are clearly thinking of it. The Las Vegas Review-Journal reported Oakland has worked out a couple of punters, including Dickson.
He is considered the best punter available. There are other teams that need a punter, including the Eagles, Jets and Giants. So, Dickson won’t just come to the Raiders. They need to go get him. Oakland is well equipped to make a run. It has two picks in the fifth round and four picks in the sixth round.
In 2017, there weren’t any punters drafted. In 2016, there were three — one in the sixth and two in the seventh. In 2015, there was one in the fifth, and in 2014, there was one in the sixth.
Scouts think Dickson can come off the board as soon as the fourth round. So, Oakland may have a decision to make. There is no guarantee the Raiders love Dickson. They could like another punter.
There are no guarantees that Dickson – or any other rookie punter – will perform well right away. Specialists can be tricky. They don’t always translate from the college ranks to the NFL. The latest example is former Florida State kicker Roberto Aguayo. He was a recent second-round pick of the Buccaneers. Yet, he was an immediate failure and can’t find an NFL home.
So, there are risks involved. Yet, Dickson seems like a solid bet. The Australian won the Ray Guy award in 2017 – named after the Raiders’ Hall of Fame punter – and he was an All-American. He is foregoing his senior season with the Longhorns to go to the NFL.
Dickson is known as a strong-legged punter with a nice touch. He has strong potential and now, he probably should be the punter Oakland hopes to get to replace King.