The NFL Draft is a weekend hundreds of young men have dedicated their whole lives for. Some players get the opportunity to walk across a huge stage and shake the NFL commissioner’s hand as they put on their new team’s hat. Others receive the call from home surrounded by their love ones. Some don’t hear their names at all, but go on to sign as undrafted free agents.
For these athletes, the draft is the next chapter of their lives. The anticipation of finding out where they will land and who their teammates will be is consuming. But beyond cities and teams, the biggest opportunity they look forward to is the chance to showcase their skills, to finally see their dream of playing on Sundays come true.
The path to the draft, however, is a journey all on its own. It requires a lot of sacrifice from these players. Saturday game days are met with the pressure to not only win, but capture the keen eye of NFL scouts. Long practice days are accompanied by rigorous training sessions. Study periods do not only include reading textbooks, but analyzing film in order to gain the upper hand against their opponents and the draft competition. The final stage is Pro day, the biggest interview of their life.
Every player’s path to the draft is different, but it’s all to receive the same result, to be able to add NFL athlete to their resume, to fulfill the promise they made to themselves. Until this year’s draft, which runs from April 27th to the 29th, in Philadelphia, I will be highlighting different athletes’ during their journey to the NFL in a series titled “Path to the Draft.” This blog series will discuss their emotions, training sessions, and their dreams as they await the most important phone call of their life.