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Johnny Hekker Deserves to Go to the Pro Bowl...But He’s Going to Need Your Vote

Johnny Hekker is the best punter in the NFC. But he’s not going to the Pro Bowl if you don’t vote for him.

NFL: Los Angeles Rams Press Conference Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

As it stands, Dallas Cowboys’ punter Chris Jones is going to represent the NFC in the Pro Bowl at season’s end.

That’s a problem.

And Johnny Hekker, the conference’s best punter, needs your help even when the Rams aren’t losing by 23.

Jones, who leads all vote-getters with 70,331 votes, has far fewer punts (39) than Hekker (72), so comparing yardage (where Hekker has a 3,419 to 1,811 advantage) wouldn’t necessarily be a good basis for casting your vote.

But yardage aside, Hekker crushes the competition - to include Jones - in just about every statistical category.

Hekker’s 78-yard punt against the Jets in Week 10 earned him NFC Special Teams Player of the Week honors. That distance is tied for first in the NFL...and not with Chris Jones, whose long punt is 63 yards.

Hekker’s 47.5 yard average ranks 4th in the NFC. Jones lands at 6th in the NFC with an average punt of 46.4 yards.

Who’s got the lead in net punt average - factoring the length of punt and return yardage? Johnny Hekker ranks first in the NFL with 45.8. Jones drop in at the 11th spot (5th in the NFC), with a 40.7 net average.

Again, the Rams have had 33 more punts this season, so Inside-the-20 stats should heavily favor Hekker. They do. Hekker has pinned opponents inside their own 20-yard line a league-leading 40 times. Jones, on far fewer punts, has done it 17 times. But it should be noted that despite punting it away 72 times this year, Hekker has only ONE touchback (t-5th). Jones has four (t-22nd).

For NFC punters with 20+ attempts on the year, Hekker - and his special teams unit - have only allowed 101 return yards; good for 2nd in the NFC. Jones and the Cowboys ST’s unit have allowed (on 33 fewer punts) 143 return yards (8th).

Last, but certainly not least, through 13 weeks of play, the average return of a Johnny Hekker punt is 3.7 yards. That is the lowest figure in the entirety of the NFL. Chris Jones’ average is 8.9 yards (15th in the NFL, 8th in the NFC).

I’m not sure what other punt stats we need to review at this point. Hekker is clearly the superior punter and may very well be the Rams’ most valuable player.

Do your part. Let’s not let this become a popularity contest. Send the best punter in the NFL to the Pro Bowl by voting here. If you’re a Rams’ fan, then you know he deserves it.