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NFL pro days for some small school players have been a huge nightmare, it needs to be fixed

Imagine if every small school prospect could attend the same pro day? The rules are very simple to follow but for some reason there have been many problems in 2019.

Small School players are already at a huge disadvantage when entering the NFL Draft, but this year there have been many obstacles that really have crushed some of the small school players and their chances. I wanted to talk about it because there are many theories about what the NFL’s rules are. I have heard hundreds for different rules for pro days, but the rules are very simple for pro days.

The pro day rule is a small school kid can work out at a big school in his schools state. A kid from a big school has to work-out at his school or a school in the “contiguous suburbs” of his college or High School town.

We have heard it has to be so many miles from their birth place or whatever, but that is not the case. According to the NFL, a metropolitan area is defined as “contiguous suburbs.” The NFL office uses the 2019 Rand-McNally Road Atlas to determine the metropolitan area of a city.

So what does that mean? It is pretty simple, as a small schooler you can attend a pro day at a bigger school in his state, but you must be approved by the school. Sometimes your coach can call for you to get you in, while sometimes a scout could call for you. So while I solved that problem, let’s talk about some other huge disadvantages the small school athlete have.

Now imagine if you’re a Florida A&M football player trying to make the league, you show up to your pro day and zero NFL scouts bothered to show up, this is not the scouts problem but rather the coaches problem, let me explain. I talked to several NFL scouts who said that FAMU never had a pro day registered through the league, which is why no one showed up. The coaches dropped the ball and who suffered? The kids. This is not the only problem.

Many kids are signing with agents who are not NFL certified. I have been saying it for years, and I will continue to say it. If they are not certified in the NFL then do not expect them to do a very good job at getting you a shot in the NFL. Here is my tutorial to find out if an NFL agent is certified!

Another problem is, many schools do not have pro-days. They do not feel like the student-athlete deserves a pro day, or they are not NFL worthy. While I see, the school and coaches point, they should not be the one to make that decision. The school if not going to have a pro day should call a school in their same state to see if their players can attend the other schools pro day. Sometimes other schools will allow them, but sometimes schools are afraid to let a player come to their event if they feel the small schooler could make their schools player look bad. They view it as a conflict of interest, which is BS. Many schools will deny a player from participating in their pro day unless a scout calls for them. This happened a lot this year, and many of the kids were turned away when they got there.

This week, Texas A&M Commerce coaches approved quite a bit of players to their event and many of the players were from out of state and had no ties to Texas. Even though a scout may have called for them, the TAMU-Commerce coaches probably did not know the rules. The sad thing is the players spent money on travel and will not be able to be reimbursed. The scouts felt horrible as I spoke to one yesterday who felt bad that he had to turn away some players. This rule has been in place for years, it is just been manipulated over the years. People continue to switch and complicate the rules, but per everyone I have spoken to in the NFL Offices, the rules have been very simple for years.

Here is my solution to the problem. It is simple, each state should hold one small school pro day, such as Missouri Western for Missouri players, and Pittsburg State for Kansas players. Check this out.

Missouri Western found a way to allow kids from other schools attend their pro day and make some money as well. They check if you can get into their pro day, and do a great job. This is what should happen in every state. For example, I live in Florida. Maybe do the pro day at Stetson a school in the middle of the state, and do the same thing. Charge the money for the pro day. You make everyone in the state eligible as they are, and instead of telling a kid no, you allow him to participate as long as he follows the rules. This makes the school money and makes it way easier on NFL scouts. The players can get to one central location and have all 32 NFL teams there. This is way better than not having scouts show up. The NFL needs to work on this issue, but this is not their problem. This is a problem of the NCAA teams taking advantage of the kids once again. If you are a coach at a school and do not want to do a pro day or allow a kid in your pro day you suck. I will say it. That is BS, these kids want a chance, let them come in and work out. It costs you nothing, let the NFL scouts determine if the players suck or not.

The NFL needs to game plan a little better because this would allow the NFL scouts more time, they could plan one day for a handful of schools. The schools could make money off the event, it would not be hard to do, I wish I could do a state wide pro day for every state because if I had the time and money I would do it.

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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