Patriots Draft Navy Long Snapper Joe Cardona 166th Overall In Fifth Round

FOXBORO, Mass. — In one of the more Bill Belichick-ian moves of all time, the New England Patriots selected a long snapper out of Navy in the fifth round of the 2015 NFL Draft.

The Patriots drafted Joe Cardona with the 166th overall pick. Cardona was the lone long snapper invited to the NFL Scouting Combine, where he ran a 4.91-second 40-yard dash at 6-foot-2, 242 pounds. Cardona is the first Navy player drafted in 20 years. The last was tight end Kevin Hickman, who was selected by the Detroit Lions in the sixth round.

Guard Mike Wahle, another Navy product, was selected in the second round of the supplemental draft by the Green Bay Packers in 1998.

Belichick’s father, Steve, worked as a coach and scout at Navy from 1956 to 1989. Cardona must be cleared by Navy before he’s allowed to play in the NFL, which makes him a risky pick in the fifth round. If Cardona isn’t cleared to play in the NFL, he would not count against the Patriots’ 53-man roster.

Cardona’s long snaps were clocked at over 40 MPH, which is the fastest ever tested. Danny Aiken, the Patriots’ long snapper from 2011 to 2014, is a free agent.

Cardona is the second long snapper selected by Belichick in Patriots draft history. He also grabbed Hawaii’s Jake Ingram in the sixth round of the 2009 NFL Draft.

Thumbnail photo via Glenn Andrews/USA TODAY Sports Images

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