Bills Top 20 Talents: No. 18 - P Colton Schmidt

Bills Top 20 Talents: No. 18 - P Colton Schmidt
Posted at 11:59 AM, May 31, 2016
and last updated 2016-05-31 11:59:53-04

In under two months, the Buffalo Bills will get to work at St. John Fisher College for training camp and the 2016 season. And this year, with how the team ended things in 2015, is extremely important to not waste the talent that exists on the roster.

So, as offseason workouts continue at One Bills Drive, WKBW will preview the roster — and more specifically, the top talent that exists on the roster that can help the Bills to putting an end to the playoff drought. You’ll be introduced to the Bills’ ‘Top 20 Talents.’

It's a bit of a different 'most talented' list, because it also takes other factors into consideration. The countdown criteria:

- Overall skill level
- On-the-field performance
- Projection based on film study over the past several years
- Age, and improving/declining ability

With that written, on to the countdown:

No. 18 - P Colton Schmidt

Age: 25 (10/27/90)

Height: 5’11”

Weight: 224

Last year’s rank: NR

Why he’s here

- I know what a lot of you are thinking. A punter? The punter cracked the Top 20? The way he's performed over the past two seasons, and with how long of a shelf life he has remaining in the NFL at only the age of 25, the future is bright for Colton Schmidt. Once the Brian Moorman era came to a close with the Bills, Schmidt became a steadying force in 2014. In 2015, Schmidt turned improved his stats drastically, and became a Top 10 punter in the NFL. Schmidt improved from 2014 to 2015 in both average punt yardage, and the net average -- which calculates return yards into the equation. He improved his average punt yardage from 42.9 to 46.3, and his net average went from 38.7 to 41.3 yards per kick. In two seasons, Schmidt has yet to get a punt blocked, and the Bills have not surrendered a punt return for a touchdown on his watch.

2016 outlook

- Of the special teams entities on the Bills roster, Schmidt is the only one that the Bills felt comfortable with to not bringing in competition during the offseason workouts and training camp. The Bills briefly employed an undrafted free agent punter during the 2015 offseason, but released him before they ever got to St. John Fisher College. Schmidt will continue his role as the team's top punter, holder on field goal attempts, and will look to become one of the top five punters in the league this season.

Top 20 Talents Countdown

18) P Colton Schmidt

19) LB Preston Brown

20) S Corey Graham

Twitter: @JoeBuscaglia