ST. PAUL, Minn. (WCCO) — The NFL dream is big for many, especially if you’re big enough to qualify.
Tyler Hendrickson went to St. Paul Johnson and Concordia University in St Paul. Now, he’s hoping to get his shot to play on Sundays in the NFL. He could find out as early as next week with the NFL Draft if his dream will become a reality.
As soon as he walks through the door, he gets your attention. That’s what happens when you’re 6 feet, 6 inches tall and 320 pounds like Tyler Hendrickson.
He played Division II college football, which by definition makes him a long shot to get drafted. But he’s watched the NFL combine and said he knows his skill set is in the mix.
“My 40 time, if I went to the combine it would be top 10. My 10-yard spring, the explosiveness is top three,” said Hendrickson.
This is what it’s now about: Preparing himself for whatever is next. That means making sure you know what they want and making sure you can provide it.
“I mean it’s proving myself and that’s all you need to do. Whether I’m drafted or not, I’d love to be drafted and I hope I am drafted. But whether you’re drafted or a free agent, you need to prove yourself,” Hendrickson said.
Early one recent morning, one of his former teammates at Concordia University, Calvin Simon, is working out. Simon got his shot in the Canadian Football League last year but was cut, so he’s got some advice for Hendrickson.
“I tried to tell him to stay focused on what he can control,” Simon said. “There’s a lot of people who are going to tell you a lot of things about the process. He’ll need to trust the process, keep his faith and just keep working hard.”
Next week he will find out who wants him, then it’s time show that he is worthy.of a football paycheck.
“To play a game that, it’s a game but you’re making money playing what you love. I love the aspect that I have the chance to do that,” Hendrickson said.
The NFL Draft starts next Thursday and goes throughout the weekend. If Hendrickson is not drafted, he could be picked up by a team as a free agent and invited to a training camp, where he would have a chance to make a roster or practice squad.