The Green Bay Packers have signed punter B.J. Sander, the team's third of three third-round draft picks, GM/Head Coach Mike Sherman announced Thursday.
During his 2003 season at Ohio State, Sander was the recipient of the 'Ray Guy Award,' presented annually to the nation's top punter. He led the country in punts landed 'Inside the 20' last season with 39, including 18 inside the 10-yard line and six inside the 5-yard line. His 42.2-yard career average ranks third on the school's all-time list, topped only by Tom Skladany (42.7 avg., 1973-76) and Tom Tupa (44.7 avg., 1984-87). He was named to the All-Big Ten first team and earned third team All-America honors for his efforts in 2003.
The Packers made Sander the first punter selected in the draft by trading fourth- (102nd overall) and fifth-round (153rd overall) picks to Miami in order to move up 15 spots and select him with the 87th overall pick. His selection made him the first punter picked in the third round or higher of the NFL Draft since the N.Y. Giants took Brad Maynard in the third round (95th overall) in 1997.
Sander is a left-footed punter, a characteristic that could prove to be very valuable in Green Bay's sometimes-inclement weather conditions. He has a proven track record of good hang time and the ability to effectively place the ball deep in opposition territory. Additionally, he also has tangible experience as a holder.
Sander is the second of the Packers' six draft picks to sign with the team.