Twenty years ago a Legend was born.
He wasn’t actually birthed twenty years ago, but rather he was reborn as a member of the Chicago Bears.
The legend was actually born on April 18, 1975, but his rebirth as a Bear took place twenty-three years later during the 1998 NFL Draft.
A day after his 23rd birthday, on April 19, our beloved Bears plucked James Patrick Mannelly in the sixth round. It was the final pick of the round, the 189th pick overall, and it was a compensatory selection.
In the sporting world the term “G.O.A.T.” is thrown around a bit too loosely, but when speaking of The Mann that successfully snapped the ball 2,282 times in his illustrious career, what other term fits?
There seems to be one long snapper in the 2018 NFL Draft pool that is heads and tails above the rest. Oregon’s Tanner Carew was the only snapper invited to the NFL Combine (see his combine profile here), and he was also snapping flawless missiles at the Senior Bowl where he was also credited with two special teams tackles.
For those smart Bears’ fans that are trying to connect some dots, Carew was an Oregon Duck while current Bears’ offensive coordinator Mark Helfrich was their head coach. Carew spent 2014 to 2016 with Helfrich, so I’m sure the Bears have the inside scoop on Carew.
But as with any good story, there’s a potential villain lurking.
You see, the Bears aren’t the only team sniffing around Tanner...
We know it’ll be hard to live in the shadow of greatness if the Bears draft Carew, but I’m sure Mannelly will be pleased to see someone step up and assume the mantle of long snapper extraordinaire.
As it stands right now the Bears have draft picks in the 1st, 2nd, 4th, 4th, 5th, 6th and 7th round. So what round should the Bears pick Carew in?