Air Force’s most anonymous player has quickly turned into its most intriguing NFL prospect.
Maybe this shouldn’t come as a surprise, as long snapper Austin Cutting wouldn’t be so anonymous if he wasn’t so flawless at his position.
While decorated players from the Falcons’ recent past like Jalen Robinette and Weston Steelhammer were the headliners of Pro Day at the academy on Monday, it was Cutting whom attracted perhaps the most personalized attention from scouts.
The senior put his snaps exactly where he wanted, even down to the proper rotation and lace placement.
“It went well,” said Cutting, a three-year starter for Air Force . “It went really well. It felt good.”
Cutting was the lone Falcon from his class to earn an invitation to a postseason showcase, attending the NFLPA Bowl at the Rose Bowl in January. There, he performed in front of more than 100 scouts – including some who were at the academy on Monday.
There’s recent precedent for a long snapper turning pro immediately out of a service academy. New England drafted Joe Cardona out of Navy in the fifth round in 2015. Cardona then had his service deferred for one year, under the stipulation that he work one day per week at the Naval Academy Preparatory School in Newport, R.I., a short drive to the Patriots’ practice facility.
Cutting is supposed to report to Georgia following his graduation in May, but added that “they’re willing to work with me and see what happens after the draft and see what we can do.”
“The whole thing is we’re not trying to get out of the two-year commitment,” he said. “We’re just trying to work with it to do both at the same time.”
The key is finding an NFL team that wants to be part of that equation, and Cutting seems to be gaining the kind of attention that indicates that might happen. And unlike most long snappers, he didn’t have to do something wrong to attract that attention.