Former Saints’ NFL dream realised after draft snub
Arryn Siposs has achieved his NFL dream five years after a third shoulder reconstruction ended his AFL career with St Kilda.
Detroit Lions swooped in and signed the 27-year-old punter minutes after the three-day, seven-round marathon NFL Draft concluded on Saturday. "I'm super excited to get to work," Siposs told AAP from his home in Auburn, Alabama.
Siposs watched the draft on TV and was not concerned when two other teams that had shown interest in him, New York Jets and Atlanta Falcons, selected American punters.
Siposs was confident the Lions would eventually call.
In the lead-up to the draft, Detroit general manager Bob Quinn, special teams coordinator Brayden Coombs and other coaching staff called the Melbourne-raised Siposs "six or seven times".
The Lions used their last pick of the draft on Ohio State defensive tackle Jashon Cornell but Siposs' agent reassured him they were still keen. As soon as the draft was over the Lions offered to sign Siposs as an undrafted free agent and he gladly agreed.
Siposs said other teams made approaches after the draft but he was sold on Detroit.
"I had a couple of teams interested in signing me as a free agent, but Detroit was clearly the best option for me," Siposs said.
"I know they need a guy and I think I'm the guy who can fit into their system so I thought it was a no-brainer."
Two other Australian punters, Dane Roy who punted at the University of Houston and Joel Whitford who was at the University of Washington, also went undrafted but could also sign free agent deals.
Siposs faces a tough fight to make Detroit's 53-man roster.
The Lions have two other punters, Jack Fox and Matt Wile, on their roster. Detroit will likely only take two punters into training camp and will eventually choose one when the 90-man roster is slashed to 53 before the scheduled start of the NFL regular season in September.
Siposs is used to overcoming adversity and is ready for the challenge. He did not want to leave the AFL.
After enduring three reconstructions on his left shoulder Siposs was delisted in 2015 and spent two years in the VFL playing for Williamstown. He hoped to eventually get back to the AFL but as that dream slipped away he was inspired by how former Sav Rocca and Ben Graham moved to the US and succeeded in the NFL.
Siposs joined the prolific Prokick Australia punting academy in Melbourne, was recruited by US college powerhouse Auburn University and in a fairytale result is now a member of the Lions.
He loves that Detroit, known for its bitter winters, plays in the indoor 70,000-seat Ford Field.
"Indoor is good," Siposs said.
"You don't have to worry about the wind or the cold so I won't complain at all." In any normal year Siposs would be on a flight to Detroit but the coronavirus pandemic will keep him in Auburn and initial sessions with his Detroit coaches will be via video hook-ups.
"The NFL has allowed teams to hold meetings online so I'll start doing that on Monday or Tuesday," he said "In terms of actually flying to Detroit that is unknown.
"It could happen in the next month or so if things start to slow down or it could be when training camp starts in July.
"It is all up in the air at the moment."
Originally published as Former Saints' NFL dream realised after draft snub