2018 Raiders Draft Prospect Profile
School: University of Texas
Weight: 205 pounds
The Oakland Raiders have been the benefactors of a sound punting game since the 2000 season. The two men who occupied the punter position during that period were Shane Lechler and Marquette King.
King supplanted the elder statesmen after the 2012 season and was booted from the roster this offseason. Thus, the Raiders search for another stalwart punter commences.
Fortunately, for the Raiders — or any team looking for a punter — the upcoming draft has quality boot specialist, like Texas’ Michael Dickson. A true field-flipper, the Australian punter is a well-built and accomplished prospect. Equally important, the Raiders possess eight Day 3 picks.
Competition for incumbent and rookie Colby Wadman is necessary and Dickson has the ability to carry on the lineage of Oakland’s strong punting game. Although some view solid punting as a luxury, but it is truly a necessity in this NFL era where rules are geared towards offenses and scoring points. Under Rich Bisaccia, special teams will gear towards coverage. In that case, punting increases in importance.
Dickson sports a powerful leg. Blessed with the ability to add touch to improve hang time. In addition, he takes complete command of the field-position game when called upon. Extremely confident. Half of his punts landed inside the opponent’s 20 and he holds an impressive career 45.3 average per punt. Under those conditions, he limits return opportunities. Accustomed to holding for placekicker.
Hang time game needs improvement. Relies too much on exemplary power despite his directional and touch game being equally as good. Can become too focused on pinning opponents extremely deep in their own territory resulting in touchbacks. Not to mention Dickson as not been tested in the elements. With winter games in Kansas City and Denver, the need for quality punting exists. During his career at Texas, he held for right-footed kickers. As a result, holding for southpaw booter might be tricky.