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What prospects need to know about the NFL Draft Process (Part 2)

Draft Diamonds LogoEverything you need to know about the NFL DRAFT PROCESS for Small Schoolers PART 2

As you know, I came out with a part one in which I really wanted to focus on getting out the most important things you need to know.  We came out with an article similar for last years draft class, and this is what I heard from agents and scouts that I respect:

If you are putting out an article about Agents lying you shouldn’t, I love them lying because it makes my case easier to fight. – Prestigious Agent

You need to explain a little bit more about guys like Drew Rosenhaus and the Jay Z’s of the world. – Another up and coming Agent

It is great that you are putting this article together for small schoolers, but you need to make it for every football player, because there are some great points. – AFC East Scout

If a kid doesn’t know that much by now, he is hurting. I thought that was the most obvious stuff ever. I guess you really need to look at what your dealing with though, Great Stuff – NFC North Scout

Dang, I see you dropping the Knowledge Leg Drop – A very good personal trainer for NFL clients

So as you can see, I had some feedback from people that I respect, but more importantly there is more information that needs to be dropped, so let’s begin.

1. Pro Days – Don’t lie about your times, it will all come out anyway.  Last year I watched national media lie about a persons forty time saying he ran a 4.45 but when I talked to NFL Scouts the kid ran a 4.60 forty.  That is no where near a 4.45.  So if you have been timed you can state how fast you are that is fine, but don’t say your a 4.3 guy when you run a 4.5.  That looks bad, actually worse than you think it does.

You also need to consider this. If you play college ball at let’s say Gardner Webb University.  There is a rule in place where that school could let you participate in Wake Forest’s pro day since it is within a certain distance (ask an agent for exact distance).  That does not mean they have to let you in, some will but some are scared you might out shine their player.  Most agents know about this so bring it up to them.  Remember will there be more scouts at the Wake Forest pro day or the Gardner Webb pro day?

2. All Star Games – Some of you small schoolers will be given a shot to play in an All Star Game, but if you don’t get invited don’t lose faith if you are not selected.  You don’t always need a spot to play to get your name out there.  If your film is good they will find you.

3. Regional Combines are your friend. If you are not invited to an All Star game, and you play at a small school, you need to get into a Regional Combine held by the NFL. Regional Combines are ran by former NFL scouts. They are the ones that chose you to go to the Super Regional. It helps, a couple years ago K.J. Stroud (Bethune-Cookman WR) made a name for himself after tearing it up at the Regionals.  You can benefit from it, and it costs nickels and pennies to a dollar. If you have watched Undrafted on the NFL Network, that is what those kids did.  It works if you believe you have talent.

4. What are the best All Star Games and Why?

I am bias, I am going to tell you the East/West Shrine is the best, because I was able to help them out but I will be a realist this time.

There are several good games that have assisted in putting players in the NFL, CFL and AFL.  They are Senior Bowl, East/West Shrine Game, NFLPA Game, Medal of Honor and the Gridiron Classic (Formerly Texas v. the Nation).  I would say the last two are very close.  All of these games will have NFL scouts. 

Any of these events can help you get your name out there, all will have scouts in attendance, so if invited it can definitely help your stock if you come out and shine.

One last thing, it is not about the GAME.  NFL SCOUTS DO NOT STAY FOR THE GAME. They watch the practices, so ball out in the practices.  If you do great there, they already know what you will do in the game.

5. Coaches, AGAIN – Remember I am not a hater of a coach, but they sometimes put their nose in places that don’t help the player.  Coaches do not always have your best interest, I had a kid a few years ago, that was given a combine invite to the NFL Combine, he was never notified of the invitation. He was contacted later on to find out that the coaching staff never gave it to him.  Trust me when I say this, some are not always your best friend.  Would you be mad if you missed the underwear Olympics?

6. Get use to this saying “LEVEL OF COMPETITION”.  You should hate this saying by now. If you don’t you will.  I hate this saying because it doesn’t matter where you play if YOU CAN PLAY.  I don’t care if you are a USC Trojan or a Lane College Dragon, it’s about heart.  If you want it more you will make a roster.

7. HBCU players – You guys have a huge uphill battle, but there are tons of scouts that came from the HBCU.  Another great thing is many of the HBCU coaches or coaching staff have been in the NFL during some point in their career.  The HBCU is a prestigious league and players don’t go unnoticed that often. So when people say is it harder to make it pro from the HBCU schools, my answer is “NO”.  You can make it, it is harder to make it to the NFL from Division 3.

8. Agents – Small schoolers ask me all the time, how do I know if I have the right agent, or who is a better fit for me?  I really don’t know how to answer this.  To be honest, I think you should feel comfortable with your decision.  Don’t make your decision based off money, or media.  Make your decision based off of who is the best person that fits your needs.  Not all agents mess with small school kids. 

Just because a guy has a big name, it doesn’t mean he is the best business man. This is your future, if your bankrupt 2 years after football, he was not the best agent. This is about your future, think about your decisions.

9. The NFL is everyone’s dream, BUT if you don’t make it don’t panic.  Many great football players came from different leagues. Fred Jackson of Buffalo came from the Indoor Football League, Kurt Warner came from the Arena Football League, and Cam Wake came from the Canadian Football League.  So if you don’t get your shot the first go around, try to get an opportunity and get more film to prove your worth. You will get a shot somewhere if you are hungry enough.

10. Probably about 10 percent of you will listen to this two part article, and that is fine, but I promise you the 10 percent that listens will have a better NFL career than those that don’t.  Football is a game of fun and excitement not a game of getting ripped off and taken.  Be smart in this process, put the big man first, and believe in your work, and you will prosper.

Small School football players have to overcome the toughest uphill battle. There back is truly against the wall.  While many will give up when their back is against the wall, few will turn to the wall and ask for assistance.  If you ask for help, you will receive it.  So when your back is against the wall, what will you do? Will you run away, or will you face it?

That decision is yours, Good Luck to all of you this year and prove ’em WRONG.

NFL Draft Diamonds was created to assist the underdogs playing the sport. We call them diamonds in the rough. My name is Damond Talbot, I have worked extremely hard to help hundreds of small school players over the past several years, and will continue my mission. We have several contributors on this site, and if they contribute their name and contact will be in the piece above. You can email me at nfldraftdiamonds@gmail.com

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