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Panthers 2021 season opener countdown: 46 days to go

We’re counting down the days until the Panthers kick off the 2021 season.

Reese’s Senior Bowl Photo by Don Juan Moore/Getty Images

We’re 46 days away from the Carolina Panthers 2021 season opener, so that means today’s countdown piece is devoted to number 46 on the roster — long snapper Thomas Fletcher.

It’s not very often that a long snapper gets selected in the NFL Draft, much less two, but that is exactly how Fletcher came to be a Panther. Drafted one slot ahead of another long snapper taken by the Washington Ron Riveras, Fletcher was an interesting choice that only a team with ten total selections would make. One of the perks of General Manager Scott Fitterer’s timeshare on Trade Down Island.

Fletcher was the long snapper for Alabama, and won the Patrick Mannelly Award in 2020, which is given to the nation’s best long snapper. The Panthers were pleased enough with his college tape that they used a sixth round selection on him. They also had quite possibly the greatest draft day call of all time, which you can watch here. Fletcher will be battling incumbent long snapper and longest tenured Panther JJ Jansen, so let’s see if he his “happy ass” can earn a spot on the roster.