The rookie mini-camps are now complete and there were no additional snapper signings. However, there have been a few transactions at the snapping position. The Raiders waived Adam Steiner, who was then claimed by the Seahawks. Two recent free agent signings, clients Nick Guess (Raiders) and Patrick Scales (Dolphins), were also waived in the last few days.
Most NFL teams will conduct their three day mini-camps starting tomorrow, although a few teams conducted their camps last weekend. After the Draft, six rookie long snappers signed contracts, while a number of other rookies have been invited to mini-camp without a contract.
Below are the signings and mini-camp invites for rookie snappers. Street free agent snapper and client Nick Guess also signed a contract with the Raiders, while other snappers from prior Draft classes attended, or will attend, mini-camps on a tryout basis, including Scott Albritton (Vikings) and Corey Adams (Broncos).
Rookie LS Signing Contracts: Mike Zupancic (Patriots); Luke Ingram (Steelers); Carson Tinker (Jaguars); Adam Steiner (Raiders); Kevin McDermott (49ers) and Jorgen Hus (Rams)
Rookie LS Tryouts: P.J. Mangieri (Jets); Jordan Cowart (Redskins); Dax Dellenbach (Seahawks); Brandon Gabbard (Giants); Adam Nelson (Chiefs); Tyler Morgan (Panthers/Falcons); Jesse Smitherman (Cowboys)
Last Sunday, Doug Williams of ESPN.com Playbook published a story that provides a compelling and comprehensive look at the growth of long snapping camps. Featuring Cole Mazza, widely regarded as this past season’s top high school snapper and an Alabama recruit with a full scholarship, and his instructor, Chris Rubio of Rubio’s Long Snapping, the story describes the growing cottage industry of long snapping camps.
In addition to helping young snappers hone the various skills that snappers need, such as accuracy, velocity, consistency and blocking, the camps are also critical to identifying talent for college coaches. For example, Rubio’s camps helped his snappers secure 66 college commitments this season alone.
The NFL Draft is in the books and, once again, no long snapper was drafted. The last snapper to be drafted was Jacob Ingram in the Sixth Round by the Patriots in 2009. Ingram’s brother, Luke (Hawaii), is one of a number of snapping prospects who have signed as undrafted free agents. Luke signed with the Steelers immediately after the Draft. Other snappers to reach deals include Carson Tinker of Alabama (Jaguars), Kevin McDermott of UCLA (49ers) and Adam Steiner of Akron (Raiders).
Although I have not been able to confirm certain transactions, it appears from various published reports that other snappers may have also reached either contract deals or tryout opportunities in mini-camp. These snappers include Georgia Tech’s Tyler Morgan (Panthers), Houston’s Brandon Hartson (Bears) and Eastern Michigan’s Mike Zupancic (Patriots).
Longsnap.com will be updating the list as the transactions become official over the next few days.
With the NFL Draft starting this Thursday, the NFL Long Snapper Chart has been updated for the event. Below is the updated Chart with the “Experience”, “Contract”, “ST Coach” and “Other Snapper” columns updated as of today.
The Dolphins recently added street free agent and client Patrick Scales to compete with veteran John Denney. With the move, six teams have snapping competition heading into the Draft.
Although a snapper has not been drafted in a number of years, it is expected that between six and eight teams will sign snappers as undrafted free agents after the Draft and multiple other teams will invite snappers to mini-camp on a tryout basis without a contract.
Longsnap.com will have frequent updates as to snapper signings and tryouts over the Draft weekend.
NFL Draft 2013 Long Snapper Chart
With free agency concluded at the snapping position, attention now turns to the snappers eligible for the Draft and perhaps some street free agent snappers who have recently drawn the interest of teams.
Former NFL special teams coach Gary Zauner conducted combines for Draft eligible and free agent snappers last month. Among the 14 senior snappers who participated, the top six snappers were Jackson Anderson (Duke), Brandon Hartson (Houston), Jorgen Hus (Regina), client Evan Jacobsen (New Mexico), Bill Johnson (Tulane) and Kevin McDermott (UCLA). In addition, a few of the 22 free agent snappers, who worked out for 20 NFL teams, have already earned private NFL tryouts since the camp.
Pro Football Weekly just published its annual Draft Preview and ranked Luke Ingram (Hawaii) as the top snapper, followed by PJ Mangieri (Nebraska) and Carson Tinker (Alabama). Other snappers listed, but not ranked, are Dax Dellenbach (Florida State), Adam Steiner (Akron) and Parker Thomas (North Carolina).
When client Clint Gresham of the Seahawks signed his one year contract as a restricted free agent yesterday, free agency at the snapping position ended along with it. Last week, Thomas Gafford (Chiefs), Tanner Purdum (Jets) and Andrew Economos (Bucs) each signed new agreements with their teams. With these most recent transactions, every snapper has now returned to their team. In total, there have been 13 new long snapping contracts since the end of the season.