Mina Kimes said it herself from the Rams broadcast booth on Saturday night: Corey Bojorquez couldn’t have asked for a better situation this week than punting in Mile High Stadium.
Despite Sean McVay insisting earlier in the year that there was no punter competition after signing Bojorquez as a designated “P2”, his dominant performance against the Denver Broncos has done enough to guarantee that he’ll be playing for somebody in Week 1.
With both Bojorquez and Johnny Hekker out in the previous preseason game, and Hekker remaining on the COVID-19 reserve list as of Saturday, the second-year punter who led the NFL in punt yardage average struck several long kicks, including a 70-yarder that went out of bounds at the 1.
While most positions have to answer for lesser competition in the preseason, punting and kicking seem to be two areas that almost always translate — and in the case, Bojorquez already has some of the best punts we’ll see in 2021.
Though his first punt only went for 39 yards, Bojorquez boomed the next one 67 yards, then 48 and down at the 1, then the 70-yarder, then his last went 53 yards.
Bojorquez with a 60+ yard bomb (altitude) but still pic.twitter.com/aULWOCnQTz— ᑭᖇO ᖴOOTᗷᗩᒪᒪ ᒍOᑌᖇᑎᗩᒪ (@NFL_Journal) August 29, 2021
All in all, Bojorquez had five punts, three that landed inside the 20, two that ended up at the 1, and he averaged 55.4 yards. As a holder, Bojorquez didn’t stop Matt Gay from making all four of his attempts, including one from 54. Before the game, Gay was good from beyond 70.
Mile High is a different environment than any other stadium, but having the best punter of the 2010s to go along with the player who might have had the best night of anybody on the Rams on Saturday night, is a different situation.
Will it lead to the Rams parting ways with Hekker? The 31-year-old is the highest-paid punter in the NFL and LA would save $2.6 million by releasing him, according to OvertheCap.com. But they would also have to pay Bojorquez, so the net savings would be about $1 million less. Would Sean McVay release or attempt to trade his all-pro punter to save $1.6 million, but also to potentially get an upgrade if Bojorquez continues to punt like he did this weekend?
That’s something that they might not even know themselves yet. Or maybe they do.