How to succeed in the NFL as an undrafted free agent

Published: May. 1, 2020 at 4:45 PM CDT
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The NFL is full of players that for whatever reason were overlooked by teams during the draft but have found success regardless. Players like George Fant.

After only playing one year of football for Western Kentucky, Fant went undrafted in 2016.

"Just right from that moment, I knew I had to go out there and just kind of show the raw athletic ability," Fant said. "Just be a student of the game."

Fant was signed by the Seattle Seahawks in May of 2016.

"At the point at that time, Seattle had the most free agents on their roster," Fant said. "Not draft picks but free agents, undrafted free agents."

Fant said a key factor in landing on an NFL is to show the capability to absorb and retain information at a fast pace.

"You have to go out there and soak in information," Fant said. "Really study, really get into your playbook. You're not a first, second, or third-round draft pick so you're very expendable. So they can go to the next guy real quick."

Often times players who are overlooked play with a chip on their shoulder. Players use being passed over as the driving force to be great. Fant said having a chip on your shoulder mindset is can be helpful whether it's trying to make an NLF roster or find a job for life after athletics.

"It's all about your work ethic," Fant said. "It's all about how hard you really work and how much information you can retain."

Currently, with the COVID-19 pandemic, NFL scouts are not able to see players showcase their skills in person. This has made it difficult for many players to get picked up by a team. Fant's advice for players is to stay persistent in trying to get themselves in front of a team for an opportunity for a workout.

"When you get to your tryout or anything like that just play hard," Fant said. "Really show your work ethic and be able to retain information. Be on your stuff. Those opportunities don't come every day and that opportunity can get pulled from you as fast as they gave it to you."

In March, after spending his first four seasons with Seattle, Fant agreed to a three-year deal worth $30 million with the New York Jets.

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