The process of becoming a star player in the NFL is often one of the most challenging journeys in most professional sports given the constant need to manage the physical and mental wellbeing of an athlete’s body and mindset, as well as emulating their play in college to the pro leagues.
While many of the top developing NFL prospects will often highlight the importance of maintaining a strong physique when aspiring for a place in the NFL, there are other levels of maturity and dedication required for a star athlete that can pave a tremendous path towards NFL stardom.
Developing a strong mindset and overall mental toughness is a key amenity for all upstart football prospects as they need to assure themselves that deep down, they will have the mental capacity to continue to strive towards success no matter the detriments or obstacles that they may have to face along the way.
Building up a positive mindset and work ethic is a key part of any athlete’s pathway towards the pro leagues as they must demonstrate their drive to the cause and their resistance to failure.
Of course, enduring a healthy and clean lifestyle is always considered to be a key part of any athlete’s upbringing as most star prospects will often spend hours in the gym and eating the healthiest options that are presented to them on a regular basis.
However, when striving for a spot in an NFL team’s rotation, there is also the process surrounding an individual’s on-field product that will decide if they have a place in the league.
1. College Football
One of the best and most established platforms for any star prospect to showcase their worth after finishing high school, is the collegiate level at one of the many renowned schools that may offer a scholarship.
Depending on how a prospect plays at the high-school level, college football programs will then look to recruit a star athlete to their roster for the upcoming season, with the higher ranked schools now firmly being a marquee destination for all the nation’s top names.
The best ranking schools likely come from the top conferences which include the likes of the SEC (South Eastern), Big Ten, Big 12, and Pac-12 as these conferences all feature other notable prospects and respected programs that garner a widespread amount of attention from mainstream media.
Some of the best schools who often recruit the top names on a yearly basis include Alabama, Georgia, Oklahoma, Ohio State, Clemson, Texas, LSU, Michigan, Oregon, and Tennessee among other notable exceptions with these often being heavy contenders for the National Championship every year.
Given that the latest NFL lines have Alabama QB Bryce Young predicted to be the consensus first-overall pick in this year’s draft class at -145, it can be very important for high school prospects to select a renowned school to showcase their skills on the highest level in front of the nation’s greatest media outlets.
2. Impressing NFL Scouts and Coaches at the Combine
Whilst you can certainly make a name for yourself at the college level as one of the best prospects available in the nation, it is always considered to be a key amenity to attend and perform well at the upcoming draft combine to showcase your overall skills to all the coaching staff and scouts in attendance.
The combine pits athletes who have declared for the NFL draft in a number of challenges to showcase their skills and physical gifts which is often considered to be a tremendous event utilized by college prospects who want to improve their stock and worth in the draft.
These trials include 100-meter sprints for outfield players, throwing tests for QBs, and a variety of activities for other spots on the field depending on what their main strengths are.
NFL scouts and coaching staff are in attendance for these events and will monitor an athlete’s performance before reporting back to front office members who will then scour a report ahead of draft night as to who they believe will best suited for their selection.
Players are also invited in for private workouts at various different teams which are completely optional, yet it is once again considered to be a great platform for upstart players to prove their worth and that they’re the correct selection for the needs of any NFL franchise.
Similarly, top prospects can often choose to skip the combine if they believe they have proven themselves as a top prospect in college and do not need the extra drills to showcase their worth.
While this is mandatory, it is still an ideal platform that most players will often look to make the full use out of to help raise their resume and worth come draft night, which is ultimately the moment that the top college prospects will find out if they have made the cut to the NFL and for what franchise they will play for after years of hard work and dedication.