For the first time in almost a decade, the NFL Scouting Combine will feature two long snappers. It was announced a few weeks ago that Colin Holba of Louisville would snap at the Combine. It was assumed that Holba would be the only snapper invite, as the past seven Combines have included just one snapper.
However, with the official list now released, snapper Bradley Northnagel of Cal has also been invited to the event that starts at the end of this month. Hopefully, this will reverse the trend of inviting one snapper.
In 2006, when the Combine first added long snappers, three were invited. Three were also invited in 2007 and then the number went down to two for 2008 and 2009 before eventually going to one where it has stayed until this year.
Another snapper has benefited from a strong workout at the Husted Kicking combine and turned it into a contract. Dax Dellenbach has signed with the Bucs after a long snapper workout yesterday that included Kameron Canaday and client Derek Hart.
Dellenbach, who was with Tampa Bay in rookie mini-camp last year, joins Jesse Schmitt (Packers) and Josh Latham (Jets) as snappers who earned contracts after working out for pro teams at the Husted Kicking combine during the Senior Bowl week. Dellenbach is also the eighth snapper to sign a contract for next season.
Colin Holba of Louisville has been honored with the two post-season invitations every college prospect covets. Holba, who has already snapped in the Senior Bowl, will next perform at the NFL Scouting Combine in early March.
It is believed that Holba is the only long snapper invited to compete at the Combine in Indianapolis.
There were a few developments this past week involving snappers and special teams coaches. The Steelers have re-signed veteran Greg Warren for another season, while the Jets added Josh Latham, who previously snapped at Sacramento State. Latham is the second snapper to be signed from the Husted Kicking workout in Mobile, Alabama and the seventh snapper to sign a contract for next season.
A former snapper, Brad Banta, who had been an assistant special teams coach in Washington, is now the special teams coach of the Saints, while the 49ers have filled their vacancy with former Bears assistant special teams coach Richard Hightower.
There will be at least five teams with new special teams coaches next season in the NFL. To date, Joe DeCamillis has moved from the Broncos to the Jaguars, while former Kansas City assistant special teams coach Brock Olivo takes over in Denver. George Stewart will coach special teams for the Chargers.
Both the Saints and Niners have the only remaining special teams coaching vacancies that will likely be filled soon.
Another team added a snapper for next season, as the Packers have signed former Michigan State snapper Taylor Pepper to the roster for next season. Pepper worked out for the Packers in late December. Pepper is the sixth snapper to be signed to a future deal with an NFL club.
The Saints have signed long snapper Jesse Schmitt to a two-year contract. Schmitt, who played at Purdue and was in training camp with the Packers last season, performed well at a free agent combine for punters, kickers and snappers run by Husted Kicking earlier this week.
I am frequently asked about the best way for snappers to get exposure to NFL teams after the Draft has passed and they did not get an opportunity or if they were cut and want another chance. Schmitt’s signing is yet another example of how free agent combines can help a player get in front of the key decision-makers.