Chiefs Signing Sets Up Intriguing Camp Competition: ‘Gonna Be Cinema’

The Kansas City Chiefs lost an underrated former first-team All-Pro in free agency when punter Tommy Townsend signed with the Houston Texans.

That created a position of need, and the Chiefs’ first efforts to fill the punter void involved picking up a former sixth-round talent in Matt Araiza. Following the NFL draft, they added to the room, signing undrafted rookie Ryan Rehkow out of BYU — head coach Andy Reid’s alma mater.

BYU Football announced the news on X and before long, local Deseret News sportswriter and BYU alum Jackson Payne pointed out that this sets up an intriguing camp battle in Kansas City.

Ryan Rehkow vs Matt “Punt God” Araiza for the Chiefs’ punting job. Gonna be cinema.

— Jackson Payne (@jackson5payne) April 28, 2024

“Ryan Rehkow vs Matt ‘Punt God’ Araiza for the Chiefs’ punting job,” Payne noted. Voicing that this competition is “gonna be cinema.”

Needless to say, Araiza’s past is filled with headlines both good and bad, but who is the new BYU UDFA? And does he have a chance to unseat the soon-to-be 24-year-old “Punt God?”

Chiefs New UDFA Punter Ryan Rehkow’s 6-Foot-4 Size Matches Big Leg

Rehkow is not your average punter. He weighs in at 6-foot-4, 235 pounds and was described as “linebacker-sized” by Deseret News reporter Jay Drew.

“For the past four seasons… Rehkow has displayed one of the best kicking legs to ever come through BYU,” Drew stated confidently in his article. “The native of Veradale, Washington, is arguably the greatest punter the program has ever produced, although Lee Johnson — who spent 18 seasons in the NFL punting for six different teams — might beg to differ.”

NFL Network scouting expert Lance Zierlein projected Rehkow as a sixth-round prospect in 2024, so one might argue that getting him undrafted is a steal. Of course, that comes with playing one of the more undervalued positions in the game.

“Big punter with an effortless strike that sends the ball flying down the field,” Zierlein detailed ahead of the draft. “Rehkow is a four-year punter whose leg strength has never been in question. He hits punts far but with a lower trajectory, leading to a higher number of returns and a lower net average than teams might like. Rehkow might need to sacrifice a little distance for a little more loft in order to make his mark in the NFL.”

In the end, Rehkow’s track record wasn’t enough to get him drafted, but he did land one of the top punter opportunities on the market. The Chiefs are a championship contender with a legitimate vacancy at the position, and that should be enticing for any rookie.

“Rehkow averaged 47.4 yards per punt over the course of his career, and experienced an increased workload in 2023 because BYU’s offense faltered far more than in his first three seasons,” Drew relayed with the Utah outlet. “He averaged 48.4 yards per punt last year, on 68 punts.”

Chiefs Rookie Punter Ryan Rehkow to BYU Fans: ‘Time Has Come’

Upon declaring for the NFL draft, Rehkow shared a message with BYU supporters on X.

“Cougar Nation,” it began. “My time spent at BYU are years that I will always look back on with tremendous gratitude. The opportunity to play at LES in front of the best fans in the country will be something that I cherish for the rest of my life.”

Forever grateful for the past 4 years🙏

— Ryan Rehkow (@r_rehkow24) December 19, 2023

Later, he added that “the time has come for me to continue my career and see what the future holds” at the NFL level.

Rehkow finished by thanking his wife — yes, the rookie has been married two years already, which is not uncommon within the BYU community — family, friends and all of Cougar Nation.

The special teamer’s first purchase if he makes the team? A humble upgrade on his 2006 Nissan Maxima that’s “pushing 200,000 miles.”

“I don’t know if on a punter’s contract you can make a huge purchase, but I will definitely be replacing the car that I currently have,” Rehkow joked with Drew and the Deseret News on April 23. “I don’t know if that is going to be a brand-new car, but it is definitely going to be better than what I drive currently.”

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