Since Longsnap.com began in 2000, the most popular question I get from experienced aspiring long snappers is how to get exposure to NFL teams. I thought a detailed blog post would be a good way to finally capture the best advice I can offer after working with NFL teams and snappers for almost 20 years.
For snappers that are Draft eligible, there is a chance that one of the two NFL scouting services, National Football Scouting or BLESTO, may have scouted you during your junior year and that can help get you on the radar of NFL clubs. In addition, during your senior year, NFL scouts visit almost every college campus where there are pro prospects to scout players, including snappers.
Once the season ends, additional exposure is possible through college all-star games, of which the premier game, the Senior Bowl, now dedicates roster spots for snappers on each squad. The best snappers can also earn an invite to the NFL Combine in February in Indianapolis. In March, snappers can display their skills on campus for scouts at a Pro Day and can also help their cause by sending a DVD of their long and short snaps to each NFL team. I recommend sending the DVD directly to each NFL special teams coach since, in my experience, many of them will review and evaluate snapper film. Another option for seniors is to attend paid workouts, such as the NFL Regional Combine events, or those run for Draft-eligible prospects by former NFL special teams coach Gary Zauner or former NFL specialists Michael Husted and Louis Aguiar.
For snappers past their Draft year that either did not get an opportunity in the NFL, or are looking to get back on the radar of teams, options include returning to a campus Pro Day, the NFL Regional Combine or, for more direct exposure, attending the free agent version of the Zauner or Husted/Aguiar combines. The advantage of the free agent combines are that they offer the opportunity to snap in person for special teams coaches and pro personnel for NFL teams. Rookies in their Draft year cannot snap live for scouts in these programs.
Free agent snappers have already benefited from these opportunities this Spring. Matt Overton was signed by the Colts after snapping at the Zauner camp and a number of snappers were invited to a Jets workout recently after being scouted at both the Zauner and Husted combines. One free agent snapper, Jake Feit, was invited to the NFL Super Combine in Detroit by being one of the best snappers at one of the NFL’s Regional Combine events. Over the past few seasons, free agent snappers like Tanner Purdum (Jets), Jonathan Weeks (Texans) and Justin Drescher (Saints) have secured snapping jobs by first impressing at these free agent camps.
With just 32 potential jobs available for a snapper and a small handful of those truly open for competition each year, securing a shot in an NFL training camp is a very difficult task. However, by maximizing exposure in college during a snapper’s Draft year or performing well at a free agent camp, a snapper can increase the odds of reaching their dream.