Navy's Cardona Still Chasing the NFL Dream

Earlier this year we noted how Navy’s Joe Cardona was turning the heads of NFL scouts in a way that not too many Midshipmen are able to do. A four year starter with the Mids, Cardona was the only pure long snapper invited to the NFL Scouting Combine in Indianapolis in mid-February. As with everything he touches, Cardona excelled and he has carried that momentum into the pre-draft period.

Joseph Cardona Profile

Cardona will be visiting the Eagles this week to show in an up close environment what he can do on the field. The 6’2”, 242-pounder put up fantastic numbers at the combine including 30 reps of the 225 pound bar, a 33 inch vertical jump, and a 4.91 second 40-yard dash time. The long snapping position is sometimes undervalued in terms of athleticism, which is why Cardona’s measurements are so important. Obviously the main job is to get the ball snapped back to the punter, but the long snapper is also in an a surprising number of tackles on special teams, as long as the play involved is strong enough to break away from the line of scrimmage. That is why Cardona had to show as well as he did in Indy.

When it comes to the core of the position Cardona is just the best prospect in the country. As a four year starter with the Mids he got in thousands of long snaps in practice and games, which is why his snaps have been clocked at 41 mph. At that speed, and with the accuracy Cardona is known for, the ball will reach the hands of the punter in less than a second.

The interesting side of this is what will happen if the Eagles, or any other team, decide Cardona is worth a punt in the draft. Cardona of course has a five year commitment with the Navy to adhere to upon graduation in May. There have however been special exceptions given in the past, most recently to fullback Eric Kettani which allowed him to play in the NFL. At the Combine Cardona was saying all the right things, which should impress both the NFL teams and the Navy.

“Ultimately, it’s whatever the Navy wants to do with me and I'm ready and willing to do whatever they ask. It's something that I'm definitely looking into applying for. All that comes down to the needs of the Navy and what they foresee me doing and how they want me to serve, what they see serving the country.”

With an attitude like that it seems that Cardona will be nothing but a success, wherever his career takes him next.


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