Lions' Jack Fox gets head-shaking spot in ranking of NFL punters

Jack Fox has been one of the NFL's best punters over the last few years, and there are not as many better than him as who are ranked higher than him by CBS.
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Jack Fox has been quite a find for the Detroit Lions, albeit by the previous regime. He went undrafted in 2019, and signed with the Kansas City Chiefs. He landed on Lions' practice squad, and in 2020 he made the roster and promptly earned a Pro Bowl selection that year (49.1 yards per punt; 44.8 average net yards per punt).

Fox followed up but averaging 49.2 yards per punt with a 42.3 yard net average in 2021. Last season, he posted similar numbers (48.6 yards per punt--sixth in the league; 41.2 net average). Last fall, the Lions made him one of the highest-paid punters in the NFL.

Fox is also the kickoff guy for the Lions, and a fairlt good one at that (71.4 percent touchbacks last year), and the holder on place kicks. He is also a weapon on fake punts, completing three of four passes over the last couple years.

Jack Fox lands in pretty head-shaking spot in punter ranking

For as much hype is around the Lions right now, they've got to prove it on the field. So they won't be broadly respected in rankings at this point, as expected. But Fox has shown himself to be among the best at his position, so it's hard to apply a firm "prove it" standard to him specifically.

If you were to dive into ranking the punters in the NFL, where would Fox be? John Breech of CBS Sports has him at No. 8 in his new top-10.

"Over the past three years, Fox has been one of the most consistent punters in the NFL. That includes last season, when he averaged 48.6 yards per punt, which ranked sixth in the NFL. The Lions have been so impressed with Fox that they signed him to a three-year extension in October. "

John Breech, CBS Sports

A black mark on Fox is how his rate of punts downed inside the 20-yard line has fallen, from 44.1 percent in 2020 to below 27 percent each of the last two years (26.9 percent last year), which has led to his net average inching downward. But his rate of punts that went for touchbacks has also dropped (5.8 percent in 2022). Return yardage against, considering he only punted 52 times, was a bit of a thing last year.

But still, frankly, it's hard to say there are seven punters in the NFL who are unequivocally better than Fox at this moment. Maybe he needs to keep extending his resume, if three years isn't enough just yet.


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