As an agent for over 25 years, the NFL Draft is filled with many different and competing emotions. There is excitement, nervousness and, frequently, frustration and disbelief. As I look back at the 2020 NFL Draft, it was a vivid reminder of all those feelings and how the COVID-19 pandemic likely deprived many great players, including snappers, of the opportunity to achieve their dreams.
Since I primarily represent long snappers, other specialists and small school players, the deck is already stacked against my clients. While Blake Ferguson continued the streak of at least one snapper drafted for six straight seasons when he was drafted by the Dolphins, only a handful of snappers ever secure an NFL contract.
Specialists and small school players faced an even harder and more uphill battle this year, with few Pro Days or personal workouts and no rookie mini-camps, that meant hundreds of players lost the ability to tryout for an NFL team over the next few weekends.
While I was thrilled to place snapper Liam McCullough with the Raiders and small school linebacker Eli Mencer with the Seahawks, there were many ups and downs for both players. Teams that showed interest for months suddenly and without explanation disappeared, going silent at the very time you want to hear from them the most.
For anyone with a dream of playing in the NFL, do not give up. This was a challenging time to be in the Draft process and, if you are not with a team right now, the odds of changing that situation can be very long. However, it is likely you have beaten very similar long odds before, so stay in shape and remain positive. Let’s hope training camps start in July and, before that, teams have tryouts to give snappers, other specialists and small school stars the chance they truly deserve.