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Packers sign former First-Team All-SEC kicker

Head coach Matt LaFleur wasn’t joking when he said he wanted to add competition for Anders Carlson this year.

COLLEGE FOOTBALL: DEC 31 Semifinal Game Chick-fil-A Peach Bowl Photo by Michael Wade/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

On Monday, Green Bay Packers head coach Matt LaFleur said that he wanted to add competition to every position, including the kicker position. Just two days later, Green Bay signed place kicker Jack Podlesny, per Sports Illustrated’s Bill Huber.

Podlesny signed a reserve/futures contract with the team, a minimum deal that allows him to be a member of the 90-man offseason roster. At the moment, Podlesny is the only other kicker besides 2023 rookie draft pick Anders Carlson who is under contract for 2024.

Podlesny was originally a walk-on player at Georgia, as he backed up Rodrigo Blankenship during his first two seasons with the program. Blankenship later went on to spend time with three different NFL franchises following his career at Georgia. Once Blankenship graduated in 2019, Podlesny took over as the full-time starter in 2020 and received a scholarship going into 2021.

As a redshirt senior, Podlesny was named both a First-Team All-SEC kicker and the SEC’s Special Teams Player of the Year. His career totals at Georgia were 61 field goals made out of 74 attempts (82 percent) with a 64 percent touchback percentage (86 of 134). For perspective, Carlson was 79 of 110 (72 percent) on field goals with a 58 percent touchback percentage (183 of 313) during his SEC career.

Here is a scouting report for Podlesny, by Draft Countdown’s Shane P. Hallam: “Jack Podlesny is my K4. Accurate from short range. Fairly consistent. Won’t do long range kicks. Can get thrown off from right hash. Kickoffs just average.” Hallam actually had Podlesny (fourth) ranked over Carlson (fifth) in his kicker rankings last year. This was not uncommon, as the consensus draft board had Podlesny ranked as the 371st overall player in the 2023 draft class, one spot ahead of Carlson.

As an undrafted free agent, Podlesny signed a rookie contract with the Minnesota Vikings last April and stuck with the team until he was waived in mid-August. Back in September, the Packers worked out Podlesny, along with Parker White, during the season. White was the only kicker that Green Bay had under contract at the time of Carlson’s selection in April, but he was let go by the team on the first day of organized team activities in 2023.