Every year, I work with dozens of players that are draft hopefuls and/or their parents. Some are top prospects and some are much lower rated. Some get the unique situation they are in, and the effort it will take to get to the next level. On the other hand, some seem to think it will all take care of itself, and that time is on their side.

Today, I want to address the player who hopes to be drafted, but knows in his heart it’s a long shot, and furthermore, knows just getting to an NFL camp will be a challenge.

First of all, there’s no shame in being a fringe draft prospect. You are already well ahead of most football players out there, and even though all those around you have already seen you as a future NFL star, there will be no shame if you don’t make it. That said, I think there are some mistakes that you can avoid this time of year that will help your cause. I’ll list them here.

  • We’re a little less than three weeks away from the unofficial/official start of combine prep for the 2016 NFL draft. It’s not a big deal if you wind up training somewhere other than a splashy, sun-drenched facility. But it’s very important that you take steps in the next 10-15 days to have a plan for training, no matter where that is.
  • You may have gotten minimal interest from agents this year, far less than you were expecting. You may be hurt or angry, but don’t let that stop you from aggressively finding representation in the next week or two. Some big-name players may put off selecting an agent, but you don’t have that luxury. You need someone working for you right now.
  • Avoid the temptation to look at the next four months as a time when you might prove you can’t play in the NFL. You don’t have that luxury. You need to look at the next 120 days as an endless audition. You’ve got to move past the 10-15 players at your position that are in the same boat you’re in. If you don’t, there’s a chance you don’t get into a camp.

Now for a brief plug. You are very close to doing something very cool in life that few get to do. I realize that in 2015, there’s a perception that anything worth finding is available for free on the Internet. Well, that’s not true. The highly detailed, highly nuanced counsel associated with helping someone get into the NFL is something that only ITL does. We are not an agency, but we will help you get the kind of agent you need as soon as possible. It’s a critical part of the process for you. We’d love to help.

Best wishes to you. I hope you have the best of luck this spring, and that one way or another, your dreams come true.

Good luck!

Neil Stratton and everyone at ITL.