About three hours after the NFL draft concluded, Burnt Hills-Ballston Lake graduate Paul Layton finally got some good news.
The former punter for the University at Albany and senior transfer to Temple was undrafted, but so were all but one of the punters eligible for the draft. However, he has been invited to the Green Bay Packers’ rookie mini-camp later this week.
“The whole time I was going through this process, I really just wanted a shot to prove myself,” Layton said. “I just wanted a chance. I have it, and I just have to go out there and take advantage of it.
“As long as I perform well enough and prove to them that I am worthy, I would expect they will sign me. It really will be based on my performance this weekend.”
The Packers have punter Tim Masthay under contract through the 2016 season, but could still sign Layton as another option.
He will head to Wisconsin on Thursday, and he said he should know by late Saturday whether or not the Packers want to sign him.
The draft was conducted a few weeks later than usual this year, but its timing let Layton offer the good news as an extra gift to his parents Sunday as his mother Karen celebrated Mother’s Day and his father Jim celebrated his birthday.
Layton said his agent received interest from the Tennessee Titans, as well, but in the end, Green Bay was the team ready to give him a closer look.
Layton said it wasn’t surprising to see just one punter drafted, as punters turning pro often attend camp unsigned and have to give the coaches a good show to earn a contract.
“A lot of times,” he said, “the special teams coaches will want to see you in person to see how your ball flies and see your technique up close.”
He put on a good show during his pro day, but he had just 12 punts to make his case to about a dozen scouts that day — six straight away and six directional punts, which are his bread and butter.
“I think it’s more favorable to me to have more than 12 kicks to show what I can do,” he said. “It’s also a good start to the weekend knowing Green Bay has an interest in me. For my pro day, I had no idea who was interested, I just had to impress all of them. Now, I just have to impress one team.”