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Thomas Fletcher could be the next Washington long snapper

Hogs Haven takes a look at 2021 NFL Draft prospects that could contribute to the WFT

Reese’s Senior Bowl Photo by Don Juan Moore/Getty Images

Thomas Fletcher, LS
School: Alabama | Conference: SEC
College Experience: Senior | Age: 22
Height / Weight: 6’2” / 231 lbs
Projected Draft Status: Rounds 6-7/UDFA

Player Overview

Thomas Fletcher has been considered one of the nation’s top long snappers since he was coming out of high school at IMG Academy in Florida, recruited by Florida State, Oregon, Texas A&M, and ultimately settling on Alabama. During his freshman year, in 2017, he handled punt snapping duties in all Alabama’s games. By his sophomore year, he assumed all long snapping responsibilities, and played error-free football. In 2019, he did the same.

As a senior, starting every game of his career at Alabama, he was selected as the Patrick Mannelly Award winner, given to the nation’s top, senior long snapper. He also had the distinction of recovering a fumble on a punt return against Missouri. Of note, as well, was the fact that Alabama’s kicker was a perfect 14 of 14 on field goals in 2020 and 84 of 84 on extra points.

“What is super important in being a specialist, and in being a football player in my opinion, is you can never get too high or too low,” Fletcher said. “If you make a 50-yard field goal, you can’t be thinking about a 50-yard field goal when you have to go in for a PAT. If you hit a PAT well or hit a PAT and don’t hit it well, you can’t think about that when you’re kicking the next kick.”

Confused as to what, exactly, makes a good long snapper? This primer from the Phinsider is a great introduction.

Strengths

  • Had an error free tenure at Alabama.
  • Experienced, starting all 4 years in college.
  • Reasonable speed to get downfield and help cover kicks and punts.

Weaknesses

  • Snap velocity is average.
  • May be a bit undersized for the role in the pros.

Let’s See His Work

How He Would Fit

With the release of long-time long snapper, Nick Sundberg, Washington is back in the market for a long snapping stud. In the past couple of decades, long snapping has become such a specialized field that training academies and awards programs have been set up, focused solely on the skillset. As a general rule though, the less you hear a long snapper’s name called, the better, as they’re usually only recognized for making errors. Ideally, they are operating quietly in the background when kicking and punting duties are going smoothly.

The salary difference between the average long snapper on a rookie deal and top vet is around $600,000 per year, so not massive, but every little bit helps, and if Washington’s coaches think he could be a long term answer at the position, I would think that’s well worth a 7th round pick to ensure he’s on the roster this offseason.

I should note, individual long snappers have been selected in the 5th (2015), 6th (2016, 2017, & 2020) and 7th (2018 & 2019) rounds of the past 6 drafts.

Poll

Would you be willing to use a draft pick on a long snapper?

This poll is closed

  • 53%
    Yes
    (312 votes)
  • 21%
    No
    (128 votes)
  • 25%
    I can’t believe I just read an article on a long snapping prospect.
    (147 votes)
587 votes total Vote Now