Today, I reached out to a player whose season is over, and who’s been receiving our newsletter for draft-eligible players since November. He’s in the conversation for a camp invite, I think, and I figured he might have received an invitation to a lower-tier all-star game and/or signed with an agent, as his season’s been over for weeks. I got this response from him:

“I do not have an agent. I would assume my chances are just about gone. I will do my pro day and give it a shot. There will be plenty of scouts out there for a few other players on my team. Thanks for all the informative emails. I appreciate it. “

I immediately responded and encouraged him. He was feeling that his chances are done, that no agent interest equals no chances of playing in the NFL. That’s just not true.

If you’re reading this blog and you’re in this young man’s shoes — three-year starter at an FBS (D1) school, with plenty of conference accolades along the way — no way should you be as discouraged as he is. All is not lost. In the meantime, if you’re serious about giving the NFL a shot, there are a couple things you can do.

1. If you’re done with your season, take a break and get healed up and ready to train hard.

2. Get your film together. There’s a good chance that you’ll need it at some point, whether that be to show an agent or a scout or someone else of influence. You don’t want to be scrambling for film 24 hours before you need it.

3. Identify a place — and this could be your school — where you can work on your speed and drills. To some degree, pure strength is something you can build. Speed and explosiveness are something you can’t ‘teach,’ and they are the two things that will matter most at your pro day, your next big test in the NFL draft process.

4. Do a little research on agents local to you. At some point, you might need to reach out to them if they aren’t reaching out to you. When you do, you need to have answers to some questions (like film and training).

5. Don’t be afraid, don’t be nervous, don’t be scared. It’s not at all uncommon for players who make it into NFL camps to not sign with agents until well into January, maybe a month away. I don’t encourage you to put things off, or to take a care-free approach, but I also don’t want you to be discouraged.

If you still don’t know what to do and need some direction, contact us. Maybe we can help. But above all else, don’t get discouraged.

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