There’s a lot involved when it comes to receiving the chance to hear your name called during the NFL Draft.
A lot of it falls on the player and their abilities/how they train leading up to the biggest weekend of their lives. But, even then, there is still a certain degree of luck involved.
For Green Bay Packers rookie K Anders Carlson, it was a family relationship that gave him the inside track to land with the Packers during draft weekend.
Rich Bisaccia, the Packers special teams coordinator, obviously worked for the Las Vegas Raiders before coming over to Green Bay. During that time, he worked with All-Pro kicker, Daniel Carlson, and he helped Carlson earn his first All-Pro selection in 2021.
Well, as it turns out, Daniel is Anders’ older brother. And that played a big role in the Packers’ decision to draft the second generation version of the Carlsons.
“He’s [Bisaccia’s] very high on him [Anderson],” Packers head coach Matt LaFleur told reporters Saturday. “Obviously, having a history there with with his brother and he’s known him for a while, now. So, [it] definitely made a big impact to be picked by us. He’s a talented, talented guy and we’re excited – he’s got a big leg. Certainly, he’s far from a finished product, by far. He didn’t kick with a brace on this week at all, which I think is going to help him and we’re just excited about the talent there.”
It’s more than Bisaccia’s relationship with Daniel that has the veteran coach excited about Anders, however. The former Auburn Tiger earned First-Team All-SEC honors in 2020 after a very strong season that saw him make 96% of his PAT attempts and 91.9% of his field goal attempts.
The 2020 performance also landed him on 2021’s preseason Lou Groza Award watch list, which is college football’s award for the nation’s top kicker.
But, an ACL injury prematurely ended Carlson’s 2021 season. He was able to recover in time for the 2022 season, but struggled making field goals and eventually bowed out of that season because of a shoulder injury.
When healthy, Anderson is obviously a very good kicker and it’s easy to see why the coaching staff is high on him. It’s great news that he’s kicking without a brace because it means he’s progressing well in his recovery.
Unfortunately, for Anderson, that doesn’t mean he’s a lock to win the placekicker job. Parker White should provide plenty of competition that allows the coaching staff to make the best decision moving forward.