Austin Rehkow - Kicker/Punter - Idaho Vandals
Weight: 214 lbs
Vertical Jump: DNP
Broad Jump: DNP
40 Yard Dash: DNP
Bench Press: DNP
Kickers and punters are some of the most underrated and under-appreciated football players on any team. People don’t realize how much of an impact they have on the outcome of the game, despite only being on the field for a few minutes.
Take Austin Rehkow for example. The dominant kicker and punter for the Idaho Vandals was one of the biggest reasons why the team won nine games last season, as three of his field goals were the difference between a six-win Idaho season and the nine wins the Vandals enjoyed in 2017.
Rehkow, who was a four-year starter for the Vandals, handled the kickoff and extra point duties for the Vandals as well.
Unfortunately (or maybe fortunately?) for Rehkow, he won’t continue handling both punting and kicking duties in the NFL. So what will Rehkow specialize at in the NFL? Punting.
Punting is easily the position where Rehkow has the most talent and has received the most recognition as a result. A three time All-Sun Belt selection (which would have been four if the Vandals weren’t independents his freshman year), Rehkow has been near the top in the FBS in average yards per punt (first in 2014, second in 2015) and has been a Ray Guy Award finalist in 2014 and an All-American in 2013 and 2014. I could go on and on about his accolades, but you can see the rest of them here.
In 2016, Rehkow was a master at pinning opponents inside the 20, as 26 of his 56 punts were downed inside the red zone. What is even more impressive is that he accomplished that feat while only having three touchbacks.
In addition to his success in pinning opponents inside the 20, Rehkow also was able to have 28.1 percent of his punts last year get downed inside the 10. That’s a pretty impressive statistic when you really consider it. That’s nearly 16 punts. Just think about how hard it is to do that once, much less 16 times!
Areas for Improvement
If Rehkow wants to kick and punt in the NFL, he will have to work on his leg strength. While he has the touch to place opponents inside the 20, Rehkow has struggled making long field goals as he only made one 50+ yard field goal his entire college career.
Additionally, Rehkow doesn’t have the hang time on his kickoffs that most NFL teams like to have on their kickoffs. Especially now that the kickoff rules are changing and teams are relying on kickers to put the ball through the back of the end zone more often.
Get it? Anyways, Rehkow’s special talent is that he can both punt and kick field goals, a valuable skill set in the NFL if they ever lose a kicker and need someone fast. This fact alone makes Austin a very intriguing prospect.
Most NFL Draft predictions have Austin going in Rounds 5-7, but I think he’s a good enough prospect to get drafted in the 5th round. One thing for sure is, we’ll be seeing Rehkow punting on Sundays this fall!