Most interesting men in Packers' draft: punter and long-snapper

Fifth-round punter JK Scott has some serious Wisconsin ties. Michael Wade/Icon Sportswire

GREEN BAY, Wis. -- The punter from Alabama has a record-setting pole vaulter for a father. The long-snapper from Mississippi State was once asked by the one of the Bulldogs' star players why he was still in the program because he would never play.

They are JK Scott, a fifth-round pick and the first punter drafted by the Packers in 14 years; and Hunter Bradley, a seventh-rounder and the only long-snapper drafted this year.

And they are the most interesting men in the Packers' draft class.

If all goes as general manager Brian Gutekunst plans, they will make up two-thirds of the Packers' specialists this season, along with veteran kicker Mason Crosby. And while the two rookies only know each other casually, their tales of how they arrived at draft day rival each other.

Scott grew up in Denver but spent his summers at the family cottage on Lake Owen, just north of Hayward, Wisconsin. The lake house has been in his family for more than a half-century, and it's where his father used to vacation as a kid.

Scott's grandmother still lives in Madison, Wisconsin, where his dad's name remains familiar to sports enthusiasts. Kim Scott was the first Wisconsin pole vaulter to break the 16-foot mark in high school. He was inducted into Madison West's Hall of Fame in 1991, and his name can still be found in the University of Wisconsin track and field record books. He ranks in the school's career top-10 for pole vaulting, both indoors and outdoors.

"We were big Packers fans growing up," Scott said shortly after he was drafted. "This is crazy. We have probably 10 cheeseheads at home. It's crazy how this happens. We loved to watch Brett Favre play because we were big Brett Favre fans and stuff. We only got up to see one game when I was a kid, but my dad and his parents went a lot more when they were younger."

Scott didn't follow his father into pole vaulting. Instead, like many kickers, he began as a soccer player.

Bradley's sports background more closely resembled his father's. Still, his path the NFL was perhaps the most unlikely of all the Packers' draft picks. He sustained ACL tears three times -- once in his left knee and twice in his right -- before he ever played in a game at Mississippi State. All three injuries happened while playing tight end. That's when he switched to long-snapping full time, following in the footsteps of his father, who snapped and played guard at Delta State.

"I was a tight end and that was my dream, so I [long-snapped] on the side," Bradley said. "That wasn't my position. I got banged up a couple times going into my senior year of high school and being at Mississippi State, a tight end, Coach Mullen was just like, 'Why don't we switch you to long-snapper and you can start working on that?' So long-snapper was just kind of my last bus stop. If it wasn't for long-snapping, I would no longer be playing football and certainly wouldn't be getting drafted by the Green Bay Packers."

Some thought he wouldn't ever play for Mississippi State, either.

"I still remember, our star player on the team my freshman year looked me square in the guy and said, 'Why are you still here? You're never going to play here,'" Bradley said.

Bradley wouldn't reveal which player said it, but he never forgot it.

"I remember that day just like it was yesterday," Bradley said. "I was willing to fight for something that I knew I could do."