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3 Best NFL Punters of All Time

3 Best NFL Punters of All Time: Looking at some of the league's greatest legs

Contrary to popular belief, the punter position is one of the most important positions on an NFL roster. The role of the position is to flip the field against the opponents by kicking the ball as deep as possible. Some punters will also hold the ball for placekickers on field goal attempts. But most importantly, the job of the position is to pin the opposing team back as far as possible.

The best punters are the ones that are consistently productive year in and year out. Having a Super Bowl is certainly a nice notch on the belt of a great punter, but it is not entirely their fault if they do not have one.


With that said, here are the three best punters of all time.

Shane Lechler

Not many punters stay in the NFL for 18 seasons. This just goes to show how consistent Lechler was. The former Texas A&M Aggie spent the first 13 years of his career with the Las Vegas Raiders (2000-2012) and his final five years with the Houston Texans. He was a 9-time All-Pro selection and a 7-time Pro-Bowler.

Lechler led the NFL in punting yards four times (2003, 2008, 2009, 2017). He is a member of both the NFL's All-Decade Team of the 2000s and the All-Decade Team of the 2010s. He is also a member of the NFL's 100th Anniversary Team.


According to Pro Football Reference, Lechler has the highest career average yards per punt at 47.6. He is undoubtedly one of the NFL's all-time greatest.

Ray Guy

The late, great Pro Football Hall of Famer retired from the NFL as the greatest punter in NFL history. He spent all 14 of his NFL seasons with the Oakland/Los Angeles Raiders (1973-1986). The three-time Super Bowl winner was an 8-time All-Pro and 7-time Pro-Bowler (ESPN Stats and Info).


Guy was one of an elite number of players to be named to both the NFL's 75th Anniversary Team and the NFL's 100th Anniversary Team. He had over 1,000 career punts that totaled over 44,000 yards. He is one of the most consistent and talented players that the game has ever seen. It is fair to say that Ray Guy was the best NFL punter before the turn of the century.

Pat McAfee

First off, Pat McAfee did not play as long as Lechler or Guy. He also does not have the amount of hardware that those two players have. McAfee played for the Indianapolis Colts from 2009 to 2016.

He was an All-Rookie performer in 2009 (Pro Football Writers of America), a 2-time Pro-Bowler, and a 2014 First-Team All-Pro. It doesn't appear that McAfee has a strong Hall of Fame case, but that doesn't entirely matter here.


McAfee holds the NFL record for the highest career net average for punting yards (41.1). He pinned a whopping 193 career punts inside the opponents' 20-yard line (Pro Football Reference).

The former West Virginia Mountaineer was a master at putting opposing offenses in a hole. Despite playing less than a decade in the league, McAfee proved to be one of the best special teams contributors of the last 15 years.

Edited by
Nicolaas Ackermann
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