Noted football analytics website Pro Football Focus has finally turned its sharp analysis skills to the long snapping position. 2013 was the first season PFF began grading snappers as part of their evaluation of every NFL player. It is often difficult to truly evaluate a snapper in an objective manner. Although Longsnap.com has been carefully tracking long snapper tackles in punt coverage since 2000, that stat alone is not necessarily a great indicator of snapping ability.
PFF notes that its analysis does not just factor “botched snaps”, but also considers whether a snap was “significantly off-line”. The grades also are composed of a snapper’s contribution in coverage and grades were lowered for such things as “missed tackles” or “poor lane-discpline”.
Like PFF does for all NFL players, snappers were graded and separated into categories of High Quality, Good Starter, Average Starter, Below Average Starter and Poor Starter. A few snappers were included in the Not Enough Information category for a variety of reasons. Below are the snappers in each category based on their 2013 performance.
HIGH QUALITY: Cox (BAL), Brewer (DEN), Weeks (HOU), Drescher (NO), Dorenbos (PHI) and Windt (SD).
GOOD STARTER: Leach (ARI), Jansen (CAR), Harris (CIN), Ladouceur (DAL), Muhlbach (DET) and Condo (OAK).
AVERAGE STARTER: Sanborn (BUF), Gafford (KC), Loeffler (MIN), Purdum (NYJ), McDermott (SF), Gresham (SEA) and McQuaide (STL).
BELOW AVERAGE STARTER: Harris (ATL), Goode (GB), Tinker (JAX), Denney (MIA), Aiken (NE) and Warren (PIT)
POOR STARTER: Yount (CLE), Overton (IND), DeOssie (NYG) and Brinkley (TEN)
NOT ENOUGH INFORMATION: Hartson (CHI), Cain (TB) and Sundberg (WAS)