Buffalo Bills: Who is Austin Rehkow and why should fans care?

Jan 21, 2017; St. Petersburg, FL, USA; West Team kicker Austin Rehkow (20) kicks a field goal during the first quarter of the East-West Shrine Game at Tropicana Field. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports
Jan 21, 2017; St. Petersburg, FL, USA; West Team kicker Austin Rehkow (20) kicks a field goal during the first quarter of the East-West Shrine Game at Tropicana Field. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports /

A new face to the Buffalo Bills, Austin Rehkow is creating a lot of buzz around himself at OTA’s this offseason.

Austin Rehkow is a kicker and punter that once hit a 67-yard field goal in high school. After going undrafted in this years NFL Draft, which he wasn’t even watching, the Buffalo Bills decided to add him as a free agent.

As a result, the Bills added yet another position battle on the depth chart — one that has been interesting to say the least.

Oh, you didn’t believe me about that 67-yard field goal he made 4 years ago?

Austin Rehkow would end up going to Idaho for his college career. He’s a 6’3” specialist that can punt, kick field goals and even be a kickoff specialist. At one point last season, the Buffalo Bills had three different players for those roles.

Its possible that Rehkow saves the Buffalo Bills two roster spots, if not this season then soon.

Bleacher Report recently published an article that listed one undrafted free agent for each team with the best chance at a roster spot. Who did they choose for Buffalo?

You guessed it, Austin Rehkow. In their words:

"The Buffalo Bills aren’t going to win a bunch of shootouts in 2017. The Bills are going to win with defense and the run game. With ball control. Old-school football.A big part of winning games old-school is field position. The ability to flip the field and pin opponents deep in their own territory.And to do that, the Bills need a better punter."

They also touched base base on the fact that Colton Schmidt, the Bills’ current punter, was ranked 35th out of 39 qualifying punters last season. He struggles with his strength, only averaging 33.8 yards per punt.

Rehkow averaged 44.4 yards per punt in his college career. Not only is that a huge upgrade, but it’s without any NFL experience or NFL coaching behind him. In Buffalo, he has one of the best special teams coordinators in Danny Crossman. They could be a perfect match.

His field goals are just as good.

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We’ve already seen him on fire during OTA’s with field goals. McDermott has put a larger focus on special teams than we’ve seen in recent years. During Week 2 of OTA’s, Thursday to be exact, Austin Rehkow was 4-4 during the FG portion, taking all attempts for Buffalo.

From the left hash, he hit a 35 and 41 yard field goal and from the right hash, he hit a 33 and a 38 yard field goal. He did miss a 48-yard attempt in a 2-minute drill, but recovered with a massive 54-yard field goal.

With the addition of Stephen Hauschka, having Rehkow behind him would add a security cushion if Hauschka doesn’t pan out. If Rehkow can beat out Colton Schmidt as the punter, then the Bills would see an immediate upgrade on special teams.

Ball position is always key during a game and when a team is constantly giving the opposing team good field position, they’re making it hard on their defense.

The Buffalo Bills were victims of that often last season and part of it can be credited to their poor defensive play.

MUST READ: Breaking down the Buffalo Bills’ most vital position battles

Keeping Austin Rehkow on the roster will benefit the Buffalo Bills short term and long term. Remember, undrafted free agents are normally the players that find extreme loyalty to a team. Just take Fred Jackson for example.

Sometimes, all a player needs is opportunity. I think Buffalo gave the right player an opportunity here.

Here’s what NFL.com listed as his strengths before the NFL Draft this year:

"Handles punting, kickoff and field goal duties at Idaho. Accuracy has continued to improve. Has hit 16 of 20 (80 percent) from 40-plus yards over the last two seasons. Has posted very good hang time numbers as a punter during his career. Saw fair catch percentage spike from 21.6 to 35.1 this year. Has excellent feel for touch punts. Landed impressive total of 49.1 percent inside the 20-yard line and 28.1 percent inside the 10-yard line."

Lastly, I’ll leave you with a little video that’s gives you more insight into who he is:

Next: Buffalo Bills have 40 players returning from last season

What are your thoughts on Austin Rehkow? Leave your comments below!