Back in 2017, when Cameron Johnston signed with the Eagles as an undrafted free agent, I long called for the Australian out of Ohio State to be the next franchise punter. Now, I don’t seem as crazy.
We don’t really talk about punting enough — in part because the mark of a good team is not having to do it very often. But, having someone on the sideline you can rely on to pin the opponent deep down the field is extremely important, especially if you’re struggling in other phases of the game.
And that’s exactly what the Eagles have in Johnston.
Through 14 games, Johnston has punted 56 times for 2,718 yards — which is pretty much in line with what Donnie Jones was doing the past five seasons, averaging 75 punts for 3,394 a year during his tenure.
Johnston is averaging 48.5 yards per punt, good for No. 2 in the NFL, and has dropped 41.1% of his punts this season inside the 20. Pretty good for his first season on an active roster — a spot I’m convinced he earned in the preseason with an 81-yard bomb.
In Sunday’s win over the Rams, Johnston had three punts for 155 yards, with two landing inside the 20.
Late in the fourth quarter when the Rams fumbled the punt with just over three minutes to play, the specialist was super pumped and wasn’t shy to get in the face of his opponent (I think it’s Justin Lawlor). Video courtesy of u/ovofenny from r/Eagles — (click here if you can’t see it):
Johnston also isn’t afraid to get in on the action and body-slammed Alvin Kamara during a return in their loss to the Saints.
He might be a punter, but he looks like a guy who can probably handle himself.