What It’s Like To Be An NFL Prospect For a Day
For the past week, the future of the NFL has assembled together in freezing Indianapolis in hopes of impressing scouts, coaches and front-office people for the biggest job interview that a college kid could ever have.
As you’re probably well-aware, the NFL Scouting Combine just concluded, with soon-to-be rookies taking part in drills like the broad jump, vertical, cone drill and, of course, the one that separates first-rounders from those who slip down draft boards each year, the 40-yard dash.
And thanks to Under Armour—who is the outfitter for every rookie that shows up—I was able to take my ass from low-60 degree and sunny weather in Seattle to the ice, snow and sub-zero temperatures in Indy last week, getting the opportunity to experience exactly what it feels like to be an NFL prospect.
Talking with Under Armour VP of Team Sports Footwear, Josh Rattet and Arizona Cardinals All-Pro cornerback Patrick Peterson, I got the skinny on the big moves that Under Armour plans on making in the sports apparel industry, continuing to bump a couple of those other companies off of their perch as the, supposed, leader, while also looking good during my drills.
With the likes of former Heisman Trophy winners Jameis Winston and Marcus Mariota competing for a chance to be the first player selected in this year’s draft, I may have made a few scouts rethink who should be on top, as I took the field at Lucas Oil and showed what I had.
While I was outfitted in Under Armour’s newest, unreleased SpeedForm MC shoes and the official jersey, socks and shorts of the NFL Combine, I looked the part of a first-rounder until my vanished athleticism led me to some interesting results.
Thankfully, the SpeedForm MC’s have unmatched precision and stability, built for speed on the football field that allows those wearing it to feel nothing but comfort. While running it truly felt like I had the Maybach’s of football cleats on, with the SpeedForm MC’s cozying up to my every move.
With a molded heel cup and SpeedForm upper, the SpeedForm MC gives the athlete the control they need to perform their best, with a patented V56 technology that helps eliminate injuries such as turf toe caused by overextension.
And with the aforementioned Patrick Peterson coming aboard and giving his input as to what makes a near-perfect football cleat, you can bet your ass the SpeedForm MC’s are as stylish as they are functional.
As I marched out with my fellow, unathletic writers, the nerves instantly hit us coming out of the tunnel—we were about to embarrass ourselves on an NFL field right now.
There were a few friendly bets being placed as to whom would finish with the fastest time with, of course, my overconfident and competitive ass thinking that, because I’m a half-marathon runner, I’ve got this shit in the bag.
Even after getting stretched out and coached by Peterson beforehand, it was clear that my 5’8″, 160-pound frame was built for drinking during a tailgate, as I failed to stay low and run hard through the entire 40 yards.
Now, I know what you’re probably thinking, right—how hard is it to run 40 yards, bro?
I thought that, too.
While the difficult part wasn’t sprinting for about five seconds, it was getting the form down to get the most explosiveness and balance; something I was seriously lacking in both of my attempts.
Finishing with a I’m-embarrassed-to-admit 5.5-second run, I figured I could salvage some sense of pride in the vertical leap, which is a jump from a broad, standing position.
Confidently walking passed a Philadelphia Eagles scout and saying, “you just might be looking at Philly’s next slot receiver,” my man thighs at least gave me something that impressed the scouts—just enough to get some cheers and not some laughs.
With a 20.5-inch leap, a couple of the guys, whether lying or not, actually told me I had some hops for a white kid my height. At least that was something good to hear.
Making our way back towards the hotel, the looks we got were indescribable.
Just imagine this for a second. Eight, untoned guys wearing full NFL Combine Under Armour gear walking through the lobby as if we were actually someone important.
For a place that was one of the best spots to people watch I’ve ever been to—which included current and former NFL players, agents, coaches and TV personalities—you could tell we were the sore thumbs who didn’t belong.
Nevertheless, my shining moment came while finishing up a run in the hotel gym, where a guy actually asked me where the hell I went to college, seeing as how there are very few quarterbacks my size who would ever get invited to the NFL Combine.
Sorry, bro, there’s only one Doug Flutie, and my ass isn’t him.
Following the humiliation that was put on display on the gridiron, there was only one thing left to do—drink.
Thankfully, the hotel bar was packed with a few of those football players who we could drunkenly chat with, giving us something that made us feel like the NFL fraternity without the hazing that comes with it.
Leaving with a couple official, personalized NFL Under Armour jerseys, new UA SpeedForm Gemini running shoes, my very own UA SpeedForm MC football cleats and a ton of other Under Armour gear that reminds me that for one day I, in fact, was an NFL prospect, the Under Armour SpeedFrom event was something that I’ll absolutely use as a mack to land some girls’ numbers at the bar—and I’ve got the pics and videos to prove it.