We’re in the depths of the offseason here at The Falcoholic, and there has been little to nothing in the way of interesting news in ages. So, we’ll have to make some content of our own in the meantime. Over the next few weeks, I’ll be bringing you a new Player Profile series where we’ll take a look at each of the players on Atlanta’s roster. I’ll break down their measurables, past production, and try to project their 2020 season with the Falcons.
We’ll get things started with the projected starters. After looking closely at both the offensive and defensive starters, we now turn our attention to the specialists. The Falcons have long enjoyed stability at these spots, but 2020 brings in new faces across the board, including a true competition at punter for the first time since 2011.
Today we take a closer look at veteran punter Ryan Allen, who took over for an injured Matt Bosher during the 2019 season.
P Ryan Allen
Contract: $750K cap hit in 2020, free agent in 2021
Career Production: 104 games played | 437 punts, 45.1 average, 67-yard long, 167 punts inside 20 (38.2%), 2 blocked punts
2019 Production: 8 games played | 28 punts, 41.9 average, 59 long, 14 punts inside 20 (50%)
Previous Teams: UDFA signed by the New England Patriots (2013-2018), Atlanta Falcons (2019-present)
Measurables: 6’2, 220
The Falcons seemed to pick 2019 as the year of specialist issues, as both kicker and punter went through significant turmoil over the course of the season. At punter, Atlanta started the season with reliable veteran Matt Bosher. However, Bosher was hurt and placed on IR in Week 4. He was replaced by Matt Wile, who would look good for a few games before suffering an injury of his own. After Wile, it was Kasey Redfern, who struggled to a mediocre 41.2 yards per punt and was subsequently waived after 3 games.
Former Patriots punter Ryan Allen was brought in and started for the Falcons in Week 10. Allen had been a fixture in New England for years, but lost his job to the more affordable rookie Jake Bailey. Allen would wind up finishing out the season as Atlanta’s starter, as Matt Bosher re-aggravated his injury after coming off IR. While Allen’s overall punt average was fairly anemic and the lowest of his career (41.86), he was exceptional at pinning the opponent inside the 20—his 50% inside 20 average was significantly better than his career average (38%) and was actually the highest of his career.
However, the Falcons never really seemed comfortable with Allen. They attempted to bring back Bosher from IR and continued signing competition for him, including Australian punter Sam Irwin-Hill. The team hammered this point home with the seventh-round selection of Sterling Hofrichter, a top college punter out of Syracuse. Ryan has the advantage over Hofrichter in terms of experience and time with the team, but will have to perform well in camp to hold on to his roster spot.
Projection: Ryan Allen figures to be a slight favorite to win the punter job heading into the 2020 season due to his NFL experience and the truncated offseason. If he does win the job, expect about a league-average season from Allen, who seems to be slowing down a bit in terms of punting distance despite being just 30 years old. He remains very accurate, however, and is an effective player at pinning the opponent inside the 20.