The Baltimore Ravens have consistently had one of the best special teams units in the NFL, largely due to the great success of kicker Justin Tucker and punter Sam Koch. However, this tandem could be nearing an end in Baltimore.
The Ravens selected Penn State punter Jordan Stout in the fourth round with the 130th overall pick in the 2022 NFL Draft. The 6-foot-3, 209-pound Stout was the first punter off the board. Though Koch still has one more year on his contract, his future is now unclear. Koch, 39, has played the most regular-season games in Ravens history (256 in 16 seasons) and has been important to the team’s success as a punter and holder.
The idea of learning from one of the best is something that excites Stout.
“One of the best things about the situation that I’m in is that I’m going to get to learn from one of the best to ever do it,” Stout said on Glenn Clark Radio May 2. “That’s going to be so surreal. He’s a phenomenal punter. I’ve learned so much in the last four months. I can’t imagine how much knowledge he’s accumulated through the past 17 years. So to be in a room with him and to pick his brain a little bit is going to be unbelievable.”
Stout was confident that the Ravens were interested in him because of the conversations he had with the team ahead of the draft.
“I talked to [special teams] coach Randy Brown quite a bit,” Stout said. “Through the process he kept telling me that he has several fourth-round picks and I knew eventually that one of those might have been me. I just had to wait it out.”
Once Stout was drafted, it was an incredibly special moment for him.
“We had a draft party in Nashville,” Stout said. “I was there with five of my close guy friends, four of my close girl friends, parents, aunt, uncle, family friends. After I got drafted there wasn’t a dry eye in the whole place. It was just so awesome to see — all of my people in a room with me that care so much about me, it was really cool.”
Stout is from Cedar Bluff, Va., and started his college career at Virginia Tech in 2018. After one year, Stout transferred to Penn State, where he played three seasons as a punter and kicker.
During his time at Penn State, Stout was 20-for-31 on field goal attempts, with a long of 57 yards, but he won’t be asked to do much of that in the NFL with the best kicker in the league on the same roster. In 2021, Stout had 62 punts and averaged 46.5 yards per punt. He landed 34 of them inside the 20-yard line. Stout also was responsible for kickoff duty as well. He had 56 touchbacks in 62 attempts in 2021.
While Stout has become an all-around kicker, it wasn’t until high school when he started playing football. Stout spent most of his time on the soccer field until one day at a soccer practice in ninth grade, when the high school quarterback came to the practice in search of a new kicker. The players took turns trying to kick field goals. Stout ended up making a 40-yarder, which impressed the quarterback.
“He was like, ‘All right, you’re going to play football next year,'” Stout said. “Then I was like, ‘All right, well I got to talk to my mom,’ because she was always against me playing football, but it worked out for both of us.”
Since then, Stout has become a very well-rounded special-teamer. He credits his success to the training he’s done with One On One Kicking, where he’s learned to kick, punt and hold kicks at a high level. Stout says he has between 10 to 12 different styles of punts that he can break out. He also is very proud of his holding ability.
“I’ve worked a lot on it. I’ve gotten really good at it — not that I wasn’t good at it before, but I feel like I’ve reached new heights. I know that’s crazy to say because I’m literally just holding,” Stout jokingly said. “But it’s small. It’s getting my spot every time, me being able to get the laces around regardless of what side they are on. I’ve been around a lot of kickers this offseason and they’ve all praised my holding. And that means a lot because it’s something that I’ve worked really hard on.”
Stout’s versatility will be key to the Ravens, and it could be the reason that he succeeds Koch. While it is unclear who will be the starting punter in 2022, Stout thinks that either way Baltimore will be in a good spot at that position.
“I’ve never been more ready,” Stout said. “Regardless of what happens, the Ravens will be in really good shape.”
For more from Stout, listen to the full interview here:
Photo Credit: Courtesy of Penn State Athletics