GREEN BAY – After mentoring All-Pro kicker Daniel Carlson for 3½ years, Packers special teams coordinator Rich Bisaccia will now have the opportunity to work with his younger brother.
Green Bay drafted Auburn's Anders Carlson with the second of its two sixth-round picks (No. 207 overall). He was the third kicker to be selected this year after San Francisco drafted Michigan's Jake Moody in the third round and New England traded up to take Maryland's Chad Ryland in the fourth round.
He's also the 11th kicker the Packers have drafted in franchise history and the first Green Bay has selected since taking all-time leading scorer Mason Crosby in the sixth round (No. 193 overall) out of Colorado in 2007.
Anders now joins his older brother, a former Auburn All-American, in the pros. Daniel entered the league as a fifth-round pick in 2018 by Minnesota before landing with Bisaccia later that year in Oakland. He's made nearly 90% of his field goals ever since.
"A lot of what Daniel's doing with the Raiders, I would say he credits to Rich," said Carlson. "I don't know him too well, but I'm very excited with what I've heard about him and all he's doing."
The younger Carlson followed in his brother's footsteps at Auburn, making 79-of-110 field goals (71.8%) and 173-of-176 extra points (98.3%) in 56 games over five seasons, with 183 touchbacks on 314 kickoffs (58%).
Take a look at Packers K Anders Carlson during his college career.
Carlson enjoyed his best season in 2020, when he was 20-of-22 on field goals, including 2-of-3 from 50-plus yards, and he was named second-team All-SEC. The following year he tore his anterior cruciate ligament in his non-kicking leg while attempting to recover an onside kick.
The injury led to him wearing a knee brace during his senior year in 2022. He also missed the last three games of Auburn's season after suffering a shoulder injury on a kickoff return but said he is kicking freely again after ditching the brace.
"That caught me by surprise and sometimes in life that happens, but God had a plan through it all," said Carlson, whose goal was to make a six-month recovery and play his senior year following the ACL. "I don't think I produced what I wanted to with the brace and just situationally I think they were maybe a little more timid with the reps, but since the season obviously taking off the brace, I think I've shown a great combine, a great pro day and I think that's what a lot of teams including Green Bay saw in me."
Like Daniel, Anders stands 6-foot-5 and possesses a booming leg. He tied his brother's school record for longest field goal with a 52-yarder in the Iron Bowl.
Crosby is still unsigned at the moment, with Carlson and South Carolina rookie Parker White the only kickers on the Packers' offseason roster. Growing up in Colorado, Carlson fully appreciates the standard Crosby has set in Green Bay.
"I obviously want to acknowledge the legacy he created and, like I said, the legend that he is there," Carlson said. "I'm truly just focused on what I'm doing, the teammate I can be for the guys up there, and just putting my best foot forward every day. Definitely recognizing Mason and his legacy, but for me it's all about going out to practice, starting in a couple of days actually and just putting my best foot forward and showing what I can do."
As difficult as the kicking profession can be, Carlson knows his brother is only a phone call away for advice at all times and he's excited to work with the same special teams coach who helped Daniel find his footing in the NFL.
"He's a huge resource on and off the field," Carlson said. "Whether it's breaking down film a little bit together, just talking about kicks, whether we like them or not, just small little things that we can kind of go back and forth. It's obviously a brother, so super close relationship. You can just be blunt and honest with each other. It's been helpful."