The 49ers are hoping Mitch Wishnowsky can do for their special teams what Michael Dickson did for the Seahawks last season. It’s why San Francisco was willing to use a fourth-round pick on the Australian punter.
Wishnowsky, 27, punted for Santa Barbara City College in 2014 before transferring to Utah, where he won the Ray Guy Award in 2016. He learned his trade playing Australian Rules Football.
“A lot of the punts you sort of learn growing up playing Australian Rules Football,” Wishnowsky told the NBC Sports’ 49ers Insider Podcast recently, via NFL.com. “There’s tradeoffs with every punt.”
Wishnowsky has an end-over-end punt, which he calls “a lot more accurate but you can’t get quite as much height or distance on it.” The sprial “goes the highest and the furthest.” The helicopter punt is hard to catch but doesn’t go as far as the spiral and “if you slightly mishit it, it’s going the opposite direction that you want it to.”
Dickson earned All-Pro and Pro Bowl honors last season as a rookie, with a 48.2 yards average. Wishnowsky has shown signs of doing similar things.
“He has some serious hang time,” Taylor said of his new teammate. “I feel like I’m sitting there waiting for it to come down for way too long. Then, once you’re there for too long, you start overthinking it. That’s what makes him good.”