By Mike Max

MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — Draft Day is Thursday, but are you ready to be drafted? That’s where Bill Welle comes in. He’s been training athletes and NFL prospects, in particular, for more than two decades.

This off season, though, has been rather challenging to say the least, even for someone who has been in the game for better than two decades.

With no in-person work outs for many, he got an idea: to mimic a Pro Day for prospects on video and provide it for teams.

“Most teams have the information that they need. They’ve seen their film, but they want to see them move individually. And that’s why those drills were created,” he said.

Because if you did not get invited to the NFL combine, there were pro days where teams come to you. They were called off because football was, in essence, also called off.

“Your bubble guys, the guys that are possible free agents, there’s been plenty of cases that you’ve had athletes that you’ve seen that have come up through the ranks, and you may not have heard of them because they played at at D-II or D-III school,” he said.

He’s seen much at all level, in part because he learned some by working with a future Hall of Famer every summer — Larry Fitzgerald Jr.

“Larry’s a different breed. I’d like to have a lot of those athletes because Larry would literally ask, ‘What do I need to work on?’ Every year, so he was never satisfied with where he was at,” Welle said.

Most of those he works with are not first-round picks like Fitzgerald; they just want a shot. Because to get to draft Day, or an invite to a camp, you sometimes just need to catch the attention of one scout.

“If one scout asks to see you, you could potentially attend a Pro Day — whether it be at the University of Minnesota and you’re from Mankato or you’re from Bemidji State,” Welle said.

Mike Max