Objectively ranking long snappers is an admittedly difficult task, but there are some well-respected ways to measure special teams units as a whole. Two of the better sources are the annual rankings done by Rick Gosselin of The Dallas Morning News and those calculated by the statistical analysis web site Football Outsiders.
Gosselin recently released his annual rankings that are based on 22 different kicking categories for which teams are assigned points from one for being the best and 32 for being the lowest. This year’s top unit was the 49ers, who totaled 225.5 points, five ahead of the Dolphins who finished second with 230.5. The Bears, Titans and Patriots round out the top five. The Panthers were ranked last, with the Lions, Chiefs, Vikings and Colts finishing above them.
Football Outsiders bases its analysis on how many points a special teams unit generates compared to the league average in five categories. The categories are field goals/extra points, kickoffs, kick returns, punts and punt returns. The Bears finished first this year, followed by the 49ers. Titans, Jets and Patriots. The Panthers were last, followed by the Colts, Ravens, Lions and Rams.