The teams who have performed well this season also did well during the draft.
The Texans picked some absolute stars in their draft class. The Lions found some essential pieces that have come up big at different times of the season. Devon Witherspoon has had the sort of impact in Seattle that the Patriots hoped Christian Gonzalez would in New England.
But of the 2023 rookies heading into their sophomore seasons next year, who is expected to build upon their early success the most?
He’s been the busiest of all the Patriots rookies this year and Baringer is one of only four of the Patriots’ 2023 draftees to play 14 games this season. Only two players have punted more than Baringer, and they both play in New Jersey. Jamie Gillan (who might have been the Giants' best player this season) and Thomas Morstead have both punted 81 times.
Baringer is right behind them with a total of 79.
Baringer was the 192nd pick overall in April; he was actually drafted before Demario Douglas. Baringer, a Michigan native who went to school and college in Michigan, has the fourth-highest number of punt yards in the league.
His 3,681 yards is 908 more than the next-best rookie, Bengals’ Brad Robbins. Nobody has landed more punts inside the opponent’s 20-yard line, and he has yet to have a punt blocked in 2023.
These are small crumbs of comfort after the Patriots’ 2023 season, but if they hadn’t drafted him, the season could have been even worse!