It’s a rare sight indeed to see a long snapper drafted all, let alone in the 6th round of the draft. But I guess that’s what being the top snapper in the nation for multiple years on the best team in the nation without ever having a single mistake will get you.
Thomas Fletcher may be an afterthought his entire career, but dropping a 6th round pick on someone that you don’t have to worry about screwing up a crucial moment down the road is well worth the insurance.
In his freshman year, he handled the punt team long-snapping while the older Meyer stepped in as the field goal team long-snapper. By year 2, Fletcher had unseated Meyer and handled all the snapping duties for the tide.
Year 3... Still perfect on every single snap.
On top of that, he came up with a few tackles and a fumble recovery in his senior year and was ultimately named 1st-team All-American and the winner of the Patrick Mannelly Award for the nation’s top long-snapper.
Fletcher’s impact ran deeper than just his ability to rifle a ball backwards 10 yards with uncanny precision, though. He was named to Nick Saban’s leadership council on multiple occasions, and was viewed as not just a leader on special teams, but a strong presence for the entire team.
With Deonte Brown also now on the team, the Panthers are joining the Patriots as a team that has picked multiple Alabama players in this draft. Only Dylan Moses and Miller Forristall are still waiting to see if they’ll be picked today.