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Road to the Draft: Another Carlson taking a kick at NFL dreams

The last time Auburn didn't have a kicker named Carlson on the roster was the 2013 season.

A decade of Carlson kickers has come to a close, as Anders – the younger brother of Raiders kicker Daniel Carlson – is hoping to find his own way to the pros after six years in Alabama.

"It was insane to see the amount of time we've been there and just the impact that Auburn had on the Carlson family," Anders Carlson said.

Anders joined the Tigers in 2017, but redshirted his freshman year as Daniel was finishing up his collegiate career that saw him become the SEC's all-time leading scorer with 480 points. Daniel went on to be drafted by the Minnesota Vikings in the fifth round of the 2018 Draft, and Anders took over the kicking duties, notching a perfect 44-of-44 extra points in his first season.

"My experience at Auburn was incredible, all six years there. Part of that was being there with my brother for a year," Anders said. "He showed me the ropes that first year, on and off the field. Auburn was great for a lot of reasons, but he was definitely one."

Anders climbed the SEC scoring ranks just like his brother, ranked fifth all-time in scoring with 410 points. His best season came in 2020, where he made 20-of-22 field goals – tying second nationally in made field goals and ninth in the FBS in field goal percentage (90.9%).

He tore his ACL in 2021 and suffered a shoulder injury in 2022 that ended his season. Even through the injury struggles, his name is in Auburn's history books besides his brother, as Anders became second in career field goals made (79), second in career scoring (410) and third in career PAT made (173).

The youngest of three siblings, Anders got a feel for kicking as a kid in Colorado when he and Daniel would play soccer with their oldest brother Nils, who was a goalie.

"We grew up playing soccer, kicking goals against him. That transitioned into football," Anders said. "Obviously, saw the success that Daniel had and knew I could do something special too."

Anders knew he wanted to follow in Daniel's footsteps, but also create a path for himself outside of his last name.

"When you come in, you might be called Daniel a couple times," he said with a laugh. "My job was just to do things on and off the field so guys would know me as Anders, who I am."

The 24-year-old begins his NFL Draft journey at the Combine – one of six kickers who were invited – and has dreams of hearing his name called in Kansas City this April.

Having gone through Combine himself back in 2018, Daniel told him simply to enjoy the process.

"We talked on the phone several times," Anders said. "He's actually in Auburn right now, I'm going to head back and train with him. He told me to have fun, enjoy it. Gave me the details of his [Combine experience] and just said enjoy it."

The Carlson kicking dynasty may be over at Auburn, the legacy remains and Anders is hoping to extend it into the NFL.

"The journeys we've had have been a little different. ... Just want to show that I am a different person but we both have some of the same qualities and both strive to be good people on and off the field, but obviously great kickers as well."

Take a look back at current Raiders' appearances at past NFL Scouting Combines.

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