Punters typically don't arrive at the NFL draft with a strong sense of belonging. Most often they're spectators of the event.
Bryan Anger, the former three-time All-Pac-12 punter from Cal, is ready to crash the party.
"I think I'm the top guy that's going to go," Anger said of his place among punters in the draft. "I'm pretty much guaranteed to get drafted."
In reality, there's no such thing. Over the past six years, teams have drafted an average of only two punters per year. Just one was taken in 2011. Teams usually prefer to wait until after the draft, then sign a free agent at the position.
But Anger and Cal special teams coach Jeff Genyk are convinced this year will be different.
Anger is the consensus No. 1 punter among a half-dozen online mock drafts, and both CBS Sports and NFL Draft Scout project him to go in the third or fourth rounds.
Genyk said one NFL special teams coach told him Anger is the best college punter prospect in nine years.
Anger averaged 43.5 yards per punt over his career _ second-best in school history -- and dropped 90 kicks inside the opponent's 20-yard line. He averaged 60 yards on three punts at the East-West Shrine all-star game, and performed well at the NFL combine camp.
Genyk said the quality that has NFL teams interested is Anger's ability to adjust to the situation. He said that was a key to Cal improving to seventh nationally last fall in net team punting average.
"A lot of that was Bryan's willingness to not think about how far he could punt the ball, but strategically how he could punt it ... how high, hang time, away from returners," Genyk said. "I think he improved his stock with scouts. They could see he was able to modify his punts to suit the situation."
No punter has been drafted as high as the third round since the Chiefs took Dustin Colquitt with the 99th overall pick in 2005. Ray Guy remains the hero of every punter 39 years after the Raiders made him the only player at his position to be drafted in the first round.
Anger, who worked out for four teams, is not nearly that ambitious. But he's so comfortable he will be picked that he's scheduled a draft party for Saturday so friends and family can help him track rounds 4 through 7.
"We'll see what really happens," he said. "I think I'm going to be calm."