Rod Smith has advice for CSU players hoping for NFL roster spot
DENVER — In all, 256 players will be selected in the 2014 NFL Draft. Hundreds are on the outside looking in, hoping to get an invite at a training camp.
At Colorado State, a number of former Rams are working out in the gym and on the field trying to stay in the best possible shape waiting for that chance.
Guys like Mountain West defensive player of the year Shaquil Barrett are well aware they will have to work even harder to land on an NFL roster. The linebacker is trying to graduate, working hours preparing for the next step and has a family. He’s married with two kids.
“It’s a lot of pressure,” said Barrett. “Just not knowing where we going to be in like four, five months from now and having to move them and I hate moving so I can imagine how bad it is for my wife. The kids don’t understand yet. I just hate it Just doing whatever I can right now so I can make sure that we do end up somewhere and do start living comfortably. Just trying to make my dream come true so I can help them with their dreams.
Rod Smith is the ultimate undrafted guy and has some advice for players who won’t get drafted.
If you play receiver, you should be working on tackling,” said the former Broncos receiver. “You should work on covering kicks. Kick returning. Punt Returning. You just want to be one of the 53 men on the roster. Period. You just play football. If you don’t get drafted you play everything. Hey, have you ever covered a kick. YES. You lie. You do whatever you got to do to just get your chance to get cleats in the grass on the field and you let the tape sort it out. You just outwork everybody else. That was my mentality.”
Smith went on to become the greatest Broncos receiver of all-time and he used not being picked as fuel.
“I remember talking to the Chiefs,” Smith said. “And the guy was like they have a third round pick and we’re thinking about taking you so I’m excited because I played ball at Missouri and they drafted Chris Pent. I’ll never forget it and then I found out I was told I was too slow and I’ve been pissed ever since. You want to be a first pick and all that stuff and that’s a dream. It only happens to one guy every year, but really you have a chip on your shoulder and my thing is my upbringing gave me a chip on my shoulder. I had nothing growing up and I knew if I wanted something, I had to take it. In a legal way, so I had to take it.”