A former punter from Auburn and Aussie Rules kicker could make NFL history if he suits up in a regular season game with the Detroit Lions.
Following a 2020 NFL Draft class that proved that the Detroit Lions are focusing on the run, the squad looked in other directions with their undrafted free agency class, signing a number of intriguing prospects who didn’t hear their name called on draft day.
Perhaps the most interesting prospect out of that class is former Auburn punter Arryn Siposs, the 27-year-old former Aussie Rules football player who repped the St. Kilda football club for five years before being delisted in 2015.
If Siposs ends up making the squad and punting for the Detroit Lions this season, he’ll make NFL history as the first footballer to play in both the Australian Football League (AFL) and Division I NCAA football before making his NFL debut.
Unfortunately for Siposs and his international fan base, the odds of him making the squad, let alone seeing the field for the Lions, seem unlikely, as Kent Lee Platte of SB Nation’s Pride of Detroit outlined in a late April piece.
"Siposs is more of a controlled punter than a big leg, as he showed with some of his work prior to coming to the United States. His college career, however, was pretty mediocre. His 38.9 net punting yards last season would have ranked second to last in the NFL for 2019 … Siposs will battle in camp with 2018 UDFA Jack Fox, another directional kicker … it looks like the Lions are going more control than power."
Siposs joins a lengthy list of players to make the transition from an Aussie Rules background to NFL punter, like Mitch Wishnowsky, Michael Dickson, Lachie Edwards, Jordan Berry, Sav Rocca, Darren Bennett and Ben Graham.
A fan of the Dallas Cowboys growing up, Siposs was one of the first participants in Prokick Australia, founded in 2007 by fellow former Aussie Rules footballer Nathan Chapman.
Chapman helped Siposs make the difficult transition from an Aussie Rules player to kicking traditional American football field goals. That transition lasted more than a year, but helped Siposs earn a role on the Auburn Tigers.
It makes sense as to why Siposs wasn’t drafted in the 2020 NFL draft, as he was seen as a slightly above average punter, but nowhere near elite. His 43.8 yard punting average ranked him 35th out of 124 qualifying punters, and was a mark that placed him seventh in the SEC.
At the very least, Siposs will be able to challenge 2018 undrafted free agent Jack Fox for the job in training camp and into the preseason.
The Lions were smart to take a risk on Siposs. He has played professional for five years already, and could be used in some elaborate fake kicks.
His fake cadence in the Iron Bowl was enough to draw second-round safety Trevon Diggs offsides to help gain Auburn the win in that fierce rivalry.
If this is truly a win-or-go-home season for Patricia and Co., expect to see even more trickery on special teams, which Siposs would be more than happy to be apart of.