Not many moments in the NFL are more wholesome than the phone calls players get from teams on Draft Day. But the call Carolina Panthers head coach Matt Rhule made to one player was so special that it’s gone viral this weekend.
During the 6th round of the 2021 NFL Draft, the Panthers were on the clock with the No. 222 overall pick. Rhule picked up the phone to call Alabama long snapper Thomas Fletcher, and asked him if he’s coming to Carolina.
Fletcher must have thought that he was being called about joining the Panthers as an undrafted free agent. He responded, “I’m trying to figure it out.”
Rhule then made Fletchers weekend by telling him, “No, no. I just drafted you”. Fletcher was practically dumbfounded, replying “Are you f-ing kidding me?” and continuously asking if Rhule was being serious.
But Rhule wasn’t joking, and Fletcher became the first of two long snappers taken in the 2021 NFL Draft.
You can watch the full exchange here:
.@longsnapfletch assumed he was getting a phone call about becoming an undrafted free agent.
Instead, he got the call of his life 📞 pic.twitter.com/V1bbyYglo3
— Carolina Panthers (@Panthers) May 1, 2021
There may be a debate as to whether the Carolina Panthers should have used a draft pick on Thomas Fletcher. A good portion of the NFL’s top long snappers are UDFAs.
But there’s little doubt that Fletcher was one of the best coming out of college this year.
As a senior at Alabama, Fletcher won the Patrick Mannelly Award for the nation’s top long snapper. He capped off his career at Alabama with his second national title and rarely made a mistake for that high-powered Crimson Tide offense.
The 2021 NFL Draft was another one for the history books. And Fletcher was clearly delighted to be a part of it.