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#RB84 Blog - Reflecting On The Draft

Ryan Broyles Blog
Interview by Kevin Doebler

 

Q) What was the best part about being an NFL draft prospect?
The best part was just that...being a "prospect" in the draft. I had dreamed of playing professional sports from the age of 8. I would imagine myself to be like Emmitt Smith in my earliest years haha. I can't explain how excited or thankful I was to be considered one of the best WRs to come out of the 2012 class! Man was I more than ready to share all these memories I was about to make with my wife, friends and family.

 

Q) And the worst part?
The worst part about the whole process was the waiting game(talk about nerve-racking). Going on visits to different organizations to meet coaches was fun, don't get me wrong.. but at the same time there was so much anticipation. You want to soak it all in and enjoy all the blessings coming your way but theres still that voice in the back of your head just wondering 'where' or 'when' you'll end up somewhere. You work extra hard from Jan- March to get your body and mind in tip-top shape for the combine, then you sit around for another really long month just waiting. It was a hurry up and wait type of deal.

 

Q) How'd you sleep the night before the draft? Were you nervous?
Honestly, you would think there would be a lot of restless nights days before the draft but that was one thing that didn't really effect me, I slept great. When I was awake my mind would be going 100 miles an hour so I really enjoyed going to sleep more than normal during draft season. I knew in only a few short days my whole life would be changing(and not just mine but my wife's as well), it was such a surreal feeling but one of the coolest experiences I've had to this day.

 

Q) And the day of the draft...did you treat it just like any other day?
Most people don't know the in's and out's of the draft but players are usually slotted in the position they would likely be taken. I talked to my agent consistently throughout the process and he let me know I would fall anywhere from the 2nd-4th round. My wife Mary Beth and I treated the draft days like any other normal days in our lives. We did our normal activities and we didn't watch the draft as it was unfolding (we didn't and still don't have cable so it was pretty easy not to watch haha) I remember we were actually watching a movie on Netflix and then we got the call that I had been drafted.

 

Q) At what point did you become aware the Lions were interested in you?
So, players during the NFL combine are aloud to sit down with 3 different teams. The Lions were one of those teams. From that point on I knew they were interested. The crazy thing is I had no contact with them after the combine for another month or so. I had countless teams call me after the combine so I assumed the Lions were out of the picture. I soon found out that teams treat the draft like a chest match. They don't want to tip any teams off with the phone calls they make. Many teams would call and ask what teams were talking to me and I would be honest and tell them. Its all 1 big game at the end of the day, go figure lol.

 

Q) Once you got off the phone with the Lions and it was official, how'd you spend the rest of the day? Celebrate? Relax?
Believe it or not when I got the call from the Lions I didnt trust they were going to pick me. My agent had mentioned there were times teams call players and end up picking another guy. The funny part is as I'm on the phone with the Lions my wife is jumping up and down on the couch mouthing, "Don't trust them! Don't get too excited! They could be tricking you!" I can always count on her to have my back haha. Well they weren't tricking me after all. They reconfirmed me by telling me to watch the next pick and they called my name! Sadly, since we didn't have cable I took their word for it. My phone started ringing off the hook with friends and family calling to congratulate. We all got together that evening and celebrated.

 

Q) After a few years in the league, whats the best piece of advice you can share with some of these younger guys about to be drafted? (On the field or off the field)
There is so much to say but just enjoy it, soak it all in and try to live in the moment. We only get so many years to play this game and its an honor not a right to play in the NFL so treat it with humility and cherish the moments. Always give glory to Our Lord, none of this would be possible if He didn't bless us with these abilities.

 

Q) Now that you've been in the league for a few years, what was the biggest misconception you had about life as a professional athlete in the NFL?
I think I always figured it was be the same as college. To be honest I have more down time now compared to college. With that being said as a professional we work on our own during the down time so it pretty much evens out. A lot of people don't look at my profession like a job, but it truly is. I always get a kick out of it when people call me and ask what I'm doing and I say, "Just got off of work.." They have no idea how to take that lol.

 

Q) In terms of life as a college athlete and life as a professional athlete, what is the biggest difference? (Example: Practices, or maybe something on game day...)
I think Coach Stoops at Oklahoma conducted his organization like a professional team. There really isn't much of a difference from practice formats. As a professional, like I stated earlier, we are reliable for our selves and no one is looking over us to make sure we are doing the correct things or spending our time wisely. Also one difference from college is people have families, they go home to their families, there isn't as much "hanging with the guys" like in college.