RENTON, Wash. – Punters aren’t taken very often in the NFL draft.
Rookie Michael Dickson is just the seventh punter drafted by the Seattle Seahawks and the first one taken by coach Pete Carroll and general manager John Schneider when they moved up to snag him in the fifth round.
“He can make the ball spin in different directions,” Schneider said, almost giddy after the pick.
Carroll was equally excited.
“He brings to us techniques that we haven’t seen people even try,” he said. “So the ball moves in different directions, he can do lots of stuff.”
The Seahawks proved they were serious about Dickson on Monday, when they released longtime punter Jon Ryan.
Dickson spent three years at the University of Texas and was generally considered the best punter in college football. He averaged 47.4 yards per attempt last season and won the Ray Guy Award. He was also named a unanimous first team All American.
In his final college game against Missouri in the Texas Bowl, Dickson pinned 10 of his 11 punts inside the 15-yard line and four inside the 5. The performance earned him MVP honors.
Born in Sydney, Australia, Dickson began playing Australian rules football before attending Texas.
“We’ll see where it fits, we really have to get on the field with him and see how that goes,” Carroll said after the draft. “But it’s pretty exciting.”
At rookie minicamp, Dickson’s punts were some of the most memorable moments because of his big leg.