2017 Steelers Stock Watch – Jordan Berry – Stock Up

With the 2017 NFL Draft now over and the bulk of the heavy lifting done with regard to the roster building process now out of the way, it is easier to begin to take stock of where the Pittsburgh Steelers stand at certain positions, and what the implications might be of a variety of moves for certain players.

And take stock is what we shall do, as every move has ramifications up and down the roster, so now we will take a look at some specific players and see how the team’s moves during the course of the offseason thus far, and more specifically since the draft, have sent their stock rising, falling, or breaking even.

Player: Jordan Berry

Stock Value: Up

I’m not going to act like I have a really compelling reason right now to say that Jordan Berry’s stock is going up beyond simply the fact that he is still a young player who is most likely going to continue to get better. A lot of great punters, as with all positions, had less than stellar starts to their career.

But the third-year man is already vastly ahead of the curve when it comes to the Steelers’ recent history. He was preceded by Brad Wing, who he de facto beat out in a punting competition in 2015 after the team traded Wing to the Giants. Before Wing was a slew of names including Drew Butler, Mat McBriar, Zoltan Mesko, and Jeremy Kapinos, just since Daniel Sepulveda’s career ended in 2011.

With the exception of Kapinos, who played in 12 games for the Steelers over two seasons stepping in during Sepulveda’s knee injuries in his final two seasons that resulted in his career ending, none of those punters made it beyond a full season. Some of them didn’t even last a full year. Only Butler and Wing managed to play in 16 total games.

So the fact that Berry has already played two full seasons is not to be dismissed in the context of their recent history, nor is the fact that they don’t even have another punter on the roster right now. Not even a camp leg. They don’t have an extra kicker, either, but they have two long snappers.

Berry did show improvement from his first season to his second season, and some of his key numbers did rank at least within the middle quadrant of his peers, so there is room to work with here. His directional kicking took a major step forward last year.

He has some things that he wants to continue to work on, and he has talked about that. He understands that he is still growing. He had a few very good games last year, though that didn’t always coincide with team success. He netted nearly 50 yards on three punts against the Eagles, for example.

Still, Berry’s value is projected to go up because he can still get better, and it’s reasonable to think that he will. He’ll have to adjust to a new long snapper in the process, though.

About the Author

Matthew Marczi

Passionate Steelers fan with a bit of writing ability. Connoisseur of loud music. Follow me on Twitter @mmarczi.

  • mem359

    Now I’m worried that the team doesn’t have an extra kicker. Not for competition, but to give Berry the occasional rest when special teams are practicing. (And maybe find another name for speed-dial in case of short-term emergency.)

  • RickM

    Yes, I agree with you that his stock is up. You’re not going to confuse Jordan with the best punters in the league who combine strong length with a very good Free Catch ratio (1 out of every 2.5 or 3 punts) and very few Touchbacks. But he was definitely closer to those guys than Brad Wing was in 2016.

    Yes, Jordan’s average punt of 45.6 yards was .9 yards shorter than Wing, but Berry had a far better 1 in 4 Free Catch ratio versus Wing’s 1 in 6. And Jordan had only 3 Touchbacks versus Wing’s 8. So we’ve definitely improved that part of our team. And as you say, Berry has room to grow.

  • Brenton deed

    Being Australian he was brought up on the “drop punt” which overtook the “drop kick” and “torpedo punt” as the primary kick of choice in Aussie Rules 40 years ago and was subsequently adopted by the rugby codes in the 80s.
    This kick is more accurate and controllable and with further experience Berry could prove to be a very effective at putting it inside the 10 yard line. In American football it is only used for pooch kicks – it is capable of doing much more.

  • Brenton deed

    The term “drop punt” arose because the ball is held in a similar fashion to a drop kick but is punted.