So impressive was Aussie punter Tom Hackett’s college career that he is likely to be drafted, something punters rarely experience, in next week’s NFL draft.
With 32 teams in the NFL, punters are seldom drafted because teams need to focus their draft picks on players who can either step in or develop into offensive or defensive starters.
Hackett’s college punting prowess earned him two Ray Guy Awards (conferred annually to the best college punter in the game), two All-American selections and a spot on the Pac-12 All-Century Team.
NFL scouts from the New York Jets showed up to watch Hackett as he did his pro day workout and the San Diego Chargers came along later to have a look.
Even with the attention from the scouts, Hackett is projected as a fifth to seventh-round draft pick, meaning that anywhere from 128 – 192 players will be picked ahead of him.
Punters usually earn their first jobs in the NFL by showing up for open tryouts. From there, they often spend one or more seasons on the practice squads if they are fortunate, or they start regular working careers whilst hoping for an opening for one of the 32 jobs available.