Falcons Surprise Fans With Final Pick in Round 7

Sterling Hofricter

Getty Sterling Hofrichter #35 of the Syracuse Orange.

The pick is in! The Atlanta Falcons have selected former Syracuse Punter, Sterling Hofrichter as their seventh-round pick at No. 228 in the 2020 NFL Draft.

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Where Was Sterling in Mock Drafts?

He wasn’t.

Safe to say…fans and analysts didn’t see this one coming.

A Head Scratcher for Sure

If you were tilting your head at this pick, then you weren’t the only one. It’s always weir to see a kicker or punter get drafted, even in the latest round. The Falcons could have found the talent in free agency instead

It’s also a surprise that the Falcons didn’t grab another running back or edge. Those were two position needs that have been talked about since December. A punter was never really in the plans.

While the Falcons did land starting running back Todd Gurley in free agency, it’s obvious they won’t be putting all the workload on him since his knee issues. The Falcons also picked up edge Dante Fowler in free agency but that doesn’t mean they couldn’t have used the depth. Like I said, it was talked about for months.

But for what it’s worth, Hofrichter is a sweet addition even if the Falcons wasted more money than they needed to on him.

A Look at Hofrichter’s Booming Leg

Falcons stuck to their plans for adding versatility players to the roster. Hofrichter can kick too.

Hofrichter’s best ability is in his hangtime, and the ability to pin opponents back. averaged 43.3 yards per punt, kicked an extra point, and three of four field goals which including that impressive 52-yarder. He also handled Cuse’s kickoffs. Hof managed six tackles and forced a fumble.

He was one of the best punters in the country while at Cuse, putting over 30 punts inside the 20 and 11 inside the 10.

Falcons Release Sam Irwin-Hill on Last Day of Draft

The Falcons releasing and resigning punter Sam Irwin-Hill is kind of exhausting at this point. But they did on Saturday morning so that makes sense they filled the void of him with Hofrichter at the end of that draft.

This wasn’t in the original plans of the draft according to analysts. But maybe this was a day of decision? Hofricter did mention that the Falcons were the only team that showed the most interest in him.

It will be interesting when Dan Quinn and Thomas Dimitroff detail the draft process a little more.

What Experts Say?

Here’s what NFL expert analyst Lance Zierlein has to say:

Punter with below average size but a quality leg used for both punting and field goal duties. Hofrichter’s hangtime was one of the best in college football and he proved that he could hit the open-field punt with consistent distance while putting english on pooch punts near the end zone. He’s feisty as a tackler, but may need to back off a bit to stay healthy. His punt/kickoff flexibility adds to his potential to make a squad now or in the future.

Welcome to the ‘A,’ Sterling!

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