Packers’ Hunter Bradley is 1st and only long snapper selected in 2018 NFL Draft
GREEN BAY — The NFL Draft is full of stories of athletes conquering barriers to get selected, but one Packers’ draft pick’s story is especially unique, mostly because of the position he plays.
Hunter Bradley, the 239th player selected in the 2018 NFL Draft is the first and only long snapper selected.
“Being a long snapper, that’s not really something, other than this, obviously, it’s a great opportunity and a blessing to be drafted by a great organization like this, but for the most part, being in the media is not a good thing if you’re a long snapper, so this is obviously the biggest that I’ve had,” said Bradley.
Bradley endured a series of knee injuries while playing tight end earlier in his football career, so he transitioned to long snapper. Now, he’s in the NFL.
“It was hard. I prayed about it. I talked with my parents. Obviously they believed in me. I knew I could do it,” said Bradley.
By subjective measure, Bradley never had an inaccurate snap at Mississippi State.
“We have one opportunity. A lot of these guys have first, second, third down where we have that one down, so you’re judged off what you put on tape. I think being a specialist, you kind of already know that you’re going to be viewed very poorly if you don’t perform your job and you just got to keep working,” said Bradley.
Bradley was the lone long snapper selected in the 2018 NFL Draft. When you play a specialized position and then you’re a rarity on top of it, you invite scrutiny.
“Snappers, we’ve snapped a ball thousands of times to get to this point. You kind of already have to block out what people say and how people view your talents or your position, so it’s one of those things where obviously I know that there’s a little bit of a target on my back per se by a lot of people, but I have to go in just like it’s any other snap. I have a job to do and you can’t think about it, just go out there and do it,” said Bradley.
The road was long to get to this point for Bradley. It’s a snap to appreciate the journey.