How to Become an NFL Player

Becoming a professional football player has been on the minds of many for decades. However, it is not as easy as people think to become an NFL athlete. Training and conditioning are only some of the requirements needed to make it big in this sport. In order to make your dream a reality, understand how becoming an NFL player works from breaking into high level scouting all the way through how much money you need to be able to live comfortably

Becoming an NFL player is not easy. It takes years of dedication and practice to reach the level that you want to be at. If you are willing to put in the work, then there are many ways that it is possible for you to become an NFL player.

We’re back with another installment of our So You Want My Job series, in which we speak with guys who work in coveted positions and ask them about the realities of their employment as well as tips on how men might achieve their goals.

Every small kid appears to have fantasies of becoming a professional athlete at some time in his life. While the possibilities of his keeping that desire, much alone making it a reality, are remote, our today’s interviewee achieved exactly that. We spoke with NFL player Duane Brown about how he turned his boyhood ambition into a reality, as well as some of the ins and outs of everyday life in the NFL. He doesn’t receive as much acclaim or TV time as the quarterback (and being a modest guy, he won’t tell you that), but he was voted an All-Pro last year and is widely regarded as the greatest tackle in the NFL.

1. Tell us a bit about yourself (e.g., where do you come from?). What is your age? Describe briefly how you came to be in the NFL, etc.).

I was born and raised in Richmond, Virginia, and had the privilege of attending Virginia Tech (Go Hokies!). I’m 28 years old, with two lovely children and the most fantastic lady on the planet as my wife. I’ve been playing football since I was six years old, and the Houston Texans selected me in the first round in 2008. I’ve stayed with Houston since then, and I like living in the city.

2. What inspired you to pursue a career as a professional football player? When did you realize you wanted to do it?

I’d always wanted to be a professional since I was a kid. I used to watch my father’s VHS called “NFL Crunch Course” all the time and visualize myself in one of those positions. When I first arrived at Virginia Tech, I made tremendous progress and realized that I would soon have the chance to pursue my ambition.

3. Getting into the NFL is exceedingly tough. Only.2% of high school football players will ever make it to the NFL. What do you believe the most essential components are in defeating such improbable odds? Work? Talent? Luck? What advise would you offer to a young guy who aspires to play in the NFL or any other professional sport?

It’s the right mix of hard effort, skill, and good fortune. Some individuals are born with a God-given gift, and I would advise them to strive relentlessly to achieve greatness, since skill alone won’t always get you there or keep you there. “Hard effort overcomes talent if talent doesn’t work hard,” is one of my favorite quotes.

4. Tell us about your high school experience as well as your college recruiting. Teenagers are being recruited by big college programs at an ever-younger age in today’s environment. Is that how it went for you? Were you tipped as a future star from an early age?


During my junior and senior years of high school, I was actively recruited. When I hurt my leg my senior year and missed the first two months of the season, recruiting decreased dramatically. I played tight end and defensive end in high school, and many universities had no idea which side of the ball I’d be on in their program. Virginia Tech stood by my side despite my injuries, and a representative even came to see me following my operation. That experience resonated with me and helped me form a particular bond with the employees, which encouraged me to chose Vermont as my future home. I was a tight end and right tackle until my final year, when I was shifted to left tackle by the coaches.

5. What was it like for you to play Division I football in college?

At Virginia Tech, I had a fantastic time. They offer a fantastic curriculum with rigorous coursework. The community of Blacksburg is very supportive of the football team, and when I was there, I made some wonderful connections and memories. On game day, the VT spirit and Hokie nation create an unforgettable environment.

6. In college, you shifted positions from tight end to offensive line. Switching to a new position (or department) in any workplace may be difficult. Were you looking forward to it? Was it a challenge?

It was a jumble of feelings. As a tight end, I had the pleasure of receiving a touchdown pass my freshman year, so I was accustomed to it. But, as a second-string tight end, the prospect of starting as a tackle piqued my interest. But I was also apprehensive since I had no idea how I would perform. When it was decided to keep me at left tackle indefinitely, I was ecstatic because I had been informed how excellent I could be and what kind of opportunities it would open up for me in the pros. I felt confident in my ability to succeed.

7. Describe a typical day in your life. What does a normal game day include, as well? Do you have any rituals that you follow before a game?

A typical day is getting up at 6 a.m., going to practice, and returning home around 5 p.m. We meet for roughly 4 hours at practice, practice for 2 hours, then I work out for 1.5 hours before spending the rest of the day studying film and maintaining my physique. On game days, I prefer to arrive early at the stadium. When I’m prepared for combat, I usually listen to music or watch a few moments from the film 300.

8. How do you strike a work-life balance?

It’s a little difficult throughout the season. Whether it’s practice, personal exercises, or Texan-related activities, I devote the bulk of my time and attention to football. My wife and I like going to the movies or binge-watching television series. Every time I have, I adore face-timing and communicating with my children.


9. What is the most enjoyable aspect of your job?

It’s game time. There’s nothing like bursting out of the tunnel and experiencing that surge of adrenaline – doing something you like with a bunch of people who share a same purpose.

10. What is the most difficult aspect of your job?

The effects of time on your physique. Aches and pains when you wake up.

11. What is the most common misunderstanding about what it’s like to play in the NFL?

People are unaware of the amount of effort we put in outside of game day. They believe we have it easy or are undeserving of the contracts we get, as if we were lottery winners. No one sees the amount of effort that goes into accomplishing what we do.

12. Do you have any further advice, recommendations, opinions, or anecdotes to share?

Take nothing for granted, whether it’s what you have, who you love, or what you do. Nothing is certain. I try to live my life with a grateful mindset. 



The “how to declare for the nfl draft” is a process that has been in place since the NFL first started. The process starts with an individual contacting their high school coach and then continuing on to a university, followed by a tryout, and finally declaring for the NFL Draft.

Frequently Asked Questions

What does it take to become an NFL player?

A: To become an NFL player, you must first play football in high school and college. Then, if your team drafts you into the NFL Draft, you will be able to sign a contract with that team. If not drafted or undrafted then it becomes a free agent market where any other franchise can pick up your rights for compensation.

Can anyone tryout for the NFL?

A: It is possible to tryout for the NFL. If you are not offered a spot on the team, however, there are no guaranteed contracts available with most professional football teams.

What are the odds of making it to the NFL?


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