What Carolina Panthers are getting in Alabama long snapper Thomas Fletcher in NFL Draft

Brett Greenberg
The Tuscaloosa News

Alabama football long snapper Thomas Fletcher was selected by the Carolina Panthers in the sixth round of the 2021 NFL Draft on Saturday with the 222nd overall pick.

Fletcher started in every game since he stepped foot on campus and was perfect on all snap opportunities. In his senior year, Fletcher won the Patrick Mannelly Award, presented annually to the nation's top long snapper, and picked up first-team All-America honors from Rubio Long Snapping. He was also selected as a preseason first-team All-American by RLS.

Here's what the Panthers are getting in Fletcher. 

The positives

Fletcher is as consistent at long snapper as they come. He can also block and has some speed to make tackles downfield. Of note, Alabama’s kicker was 14 of 14 on field goals in 2020 and 84 of 84 on extra points.

HURT:Listen to NFL Draft critics and you wonder how Alabama football wins all those games 

HURT:Alabama football was without some stars on A-Day, but Nick Saban stepped in and stole the show

The concerns

At 6-foot-2, 231 pounds, Fletcher is slightly smaller than the typical NFL long snapper. Experts have said his snaps have lacked speed and velocity at some points. 

Final thoughts

Fletcher will presumably be starting the minute he steps foot in rookie camp – no NFL team is going to use a draft pick on a snapper unless it plans to start him – and should assume the responsibilities of the position for the long haul.