The Detroit Lions have one of the best weapons in the NFL, and so far, Jack Fox is making his mark felt during the early stages of his career.
Fox has been elite thus far for the Lions, and he is far and away the best punter in the league so far according to Pro Football Focus metrics. A recent look at those metrics found Fox essentially running away with the top punter title early on in the 2020 season.
From Practice Squad to No. 1 in the NFL (by a wide margin), #Lions Punter Jack Fox has seen his first NFL action in 2020 and is off to a pretty good start
Highest Punting Grade in 2020:
1. DET Jack Fox, 91.5
2. MIA Matt Haack, 74.4
3. GB J.K. Scott, 72.7#OnePride
— PFF DET Lions (@PFF_Lions) September 24, 2020
Fox has shown off in a big way this season with leg strength as well as accuracy. Against the Arizona Cardinals, his punt pinned the team deep in their own territory late which allowed Detroit a chance to flip field position and eventually tie the game. Fox nearly had another superb pin, but Detroit’s gunner was ruled to have been in the end zone, nullifying the kick.
Fox has been everything a young punter needs to be, and hasn’t shown any jitters at all with the leg, which has been amazing to note. Certainly, the Lions are in good hands with Fox already.
Analyst Predicted Jack Fox Winning Job
A few months back when the punting battle was sorting itself out, Dave Birkett of the Detroit Free Press explained Fox was signed to the roster and was set to square off in a punting battle to see who has the upper hand to taking over the role. At that point, Fox was seen as the guy to beat according to Birkett.
Here’s a look at what he said about that:
“Fox had a strong showing at the East-West Shrine all-star game a year ago, but went undrafted out of Rice. He signed with the Kansas City Chiefs as a free agent, was briefly on their practice squad during the season and impressed the Lions with a late-season workout in Allen Park.
Fox may be good enough that the Lions don’t need to draft a punter this offseason, like they did with Martin in 2013. He can kick off, he handled long field goals in college, and he enters spring as the favorite to replace Martin, who took a pay cut before last season in exchange for having his contract reduced by a year.”
While playing for Rice, Fox piled up 9,167 punting yards in a 4 year career. He can also kick in an emergency role, as he made 38 of 39 extra points in his career and was 5-12 on field goals. Obviously, with a leg like that, the Lions could ask him to be a kickoff specialist as well. They haven’t done that, but Fox’s leg is certainly showing the power that it did in college.
Fox didn’t hang around the NFL for long last offseason, but has quickly shown why the Lions elected to keep him around when all was said and done. It’s looking like a mistake that others passed on him.
With Fox booting the ball so well, the Lions have a player who they can count on now locking down the punter spot for the foreseeable future.
In a tough start to the 2020 season in terms of record, it’s been a major plus for the Lions to hang their hat on.