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NFL Draft Profile: Gators P Tommy Townsend

With less than a month before the 2020 NFL draft, Gators Territory continues to profile each of the Gators’ draft hopefuls.

Next on our list is a member of Florida’s special teams who saw his brother enter the NFL in 2018.

Tommy Townsend saw 93 punts for 4,162 yards and averaged 44.7 yards per punt across two seasons with the Gators.

Townsend began his college career at Tennessee after being rated the No. 1 punter in the country coming out of high school by Kohl’s Kicking and Chris Sailor Kicking. He redshirted his freshman year and made the decision to transfer, choosing Florida over Baylor and Colorado.

He sat out in 2016 and 2017, first because of NCAA transfer rules and the next year behind brother Johnny Townsend.

He finally got out on the field in 2018, finishing the season with a 45.4 punt average on 51 punts. In his first season he had 14 punts over 50 yards and booted 24 inside the 20-yard line. His longest came against LSU, a 71-yarder marking the seventh longest in program history. Townsend showed off his ability to directly influence the outcome of a game against Vanderbilt when he faked a punt for 18 yards in the comeback win. He was named to the Second Team All-SEC by Athlon Sports, the SEC Academic Honor Roll and was a semifinalist for the Ray Guy Award.

In his senior season, Townsend recorded 42 punts for 1,847 yards and an average of 44 yards per punt. He recorded 11 over 50 yards and saw 20 inside the 20-yard line. He was named to the Preseason Second Team All-SEC, was the “Ray’s 8” Punter of the Week against South Carolina and was named a Ray Guy Award semifinalist for the second year in a row.

Townsend was one of eight Gators to receive an invite to the 2020 NFL Combine. There he earned a 5.50 prospect grade, as someone with a chance to make the end of roster or practice squad. He ranked as the No. 4 punter prospect of six at the Combine.

NFL analyst Lance Zierlein calls Townsend a decent directional punter but said he needs to show more consistency to have a shot at making a team. Zierlein complimented Townsend’s hang time, ability to delay the punt and handle poor snaps, as well as his average punt length. Among his weaknesses are: his frame and some minor inconsistencies.

Expect Townsend to go as an undrafted free agent at the 2020 NFL Draft on Apr. 23-25 in Las Vegas.