Pipeline to the Pros

Think you’re ready to make the leap to the NFL? Before you declare, arm yourself with the knowledge you need to make the right decision for you and your career. The NFLPA visits universities around the country to provide information and resources about the business of football to collegiate athletes.

Learn more about the Pipeline to the Pros campus visit. If you'd like to request a visit for your school, let us know! Email willis.whalen@nflpa.com.

 

COLLEGE ADVISORY COMMITTEE

How risky is leaving school early to declare for the NFL draft? If you are three years removed from high school, your coach can apply for you to be evaluated by the College Advisory Committee. This committee, made up of professional and team scouts, will let you know if you’re likely to get drafted and where you could possibly land if you do. This assessment can provide you with valuable information as you make key career decisions so you can protect your college eligibility, potentially improve your draft status and make the right decision for you.  

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CHOOSING AN AGENT

If you’ve completed your senior season or you’ve decided leaving school early is the right move for you, the next step is hiring an agent. You’ll need someone who can get you the money you deserve by negotiating your contract, which includes a lot more than just your base salary. Your agent will also be nailing down your signing bonus, incentives, default and off-set language, along with roster, report and workout bonuses – all things that affect your check at the end of the day. Before you sign with anyone, make sure you stay compliant with NCAA regulations, do your research and contact the NFLPA if you have any questions.  

Learn More Research an Agent Agent Questionnaire
 

NFLPA COLLEGIATE BOWL

All-star games provide a platform for you to showcase your skills in front of professional scouts and coaches in a game setting. The NFLPA Collegiate Bowl is an entire experience—at no expense to you or your family. Not only does the Collegiate Bowl host over 200 NFL scouts who observe you in a week of practices and the game itself, but it also prepares you for the business side of football through the NFLPA University program. The NFLPA Collegiate Bowl, along with other all-star games, take place in January each year.

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NFL COMBINES

Are you prepared for your job interview with NFL Clubs? If you are invited to the NFL National Combine, you are among about 300 prospects who will participate in four days of physical, mental and medical testing by NFL personnel. However, there are still ways to get in front of professional scouts and coaches if you are not invited. Regional Combines are open to players who have played college football in their senior season and have used all of their NCAA college eligibility. As you prepare for these combines, make sure you know the costs associated with training facilities and who is paying for it. Training can be expensive, with some training centers costing up to $25,000. Be sure to do your research before you commit to anything.

NFL National Combine Regional Combines

PRO DAYS

If you don’t complete your workout at the NFL Combine due to field conditions, injuries or other factors, you can showcase your skills at a Pro Day. Pro Days take place on university campuses. Check to see if your university is conducting one or if there’s one happening at a school nearby. Because of the more personal setting, coaches generally have more time to work with you at Pro Days. Not only are they taking note of your skill and work ethic, but also how well you take instruction from coaches.

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GETTING DRAFTED OR BECOMING A FREE AGENT

Whether you are one of the approximately 253 players to be selected at the NFL Draft or a free agent, when you sign on the dotted line with an NFL team, you become a member of the NFLPA. The NFLPA works hard to protect your rights and provide you with relevant programs and resources that fit your needs. As a professional, you’re part of a business, so find out who on your team serves as a player representative to the NFLPA, and be sure to connect with our staff.

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RESOURCES