By Matt Leon
PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — No Temple Owls were selected in the 2014 NFL Draft, but some have signed rookie free agent deals or gotten try-out invitations. Punter Paul Layton falls into the latter category.
Layton punted for one season with the Owls after transferring over from Albany. His performance earned him a look from the Green Bay Packers and he will take part in their rookie camp later this week.
“I feel really good right now,” Layton tells KYW Newsradio. “It’s really something that I’ve worked for my whole life and just to have an opportunity to compete for a spot is just a great feeling.”
Layton made his one season on North Broad Street count as he averaged 42.8 yards a punt, with a long of 67 yards. He placed 24 of his 61 boots inside the opponents’ 20-yard line and he says his directional punting ability is a big reason why he thinks Green bay wants to get an up-close look at him.
“I think in the NFL it is so important to be able to pin them to one sideline and cut down where your coverage has to cover,” Layton says. “So I think that’s something that they really liked in me. That’s all we did at Temple was directional punts every single time and I think I proved I can do it pretty well. So I think that’s what Green Bay liked and hopefully I can show them what I can do.”
Green Bay’s rookie mini-camp runs Friday and Saturday.
In addition to Layton, Temple H-back Chris Coyer will get a tryout with the Redskins. DB Abdul Smith also reportedly has gotten a try-out invite from the Bears, and DL Levi Brown will get a shot with the Ravens. Tackle Cody Booth has signed a rookie free agent deal with the Chicago Bears, DL Kamal Johnson with Miami.
You can follow Matt on Twitter @mattleonkyw.