Excited NFL Draftees on the verge of life-changing journey toward Super Bowl and/or conviction for felony firearm offenses

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Today marks the 86th edition of the coveted NFL Draft where fresh-faced college football prospects eagerly wait to be selected by one of the 32 teams who make up the National Football League. Across the nation, these athletic and ambitious young players have worked tirelessly to put themselves in pole position to be drafted and draw one step closer to the Super Bowl. Or, for some, one step closer to an arrest and conviction for felony gun possession.

The NFL draft is a massive affair with teams selecting their next generation of stars over 7 rounds, meaning nearly 225 players make the immediate jump from college football to the NFL. From there, however, the work begins all over again and many players for one reason or another fail to maximize their opportunity. A surprising number of players leave the league within three years of being drafted while others, who may establish themselves regularly, lose their place due to arrests for causes ranging from domestic abuse and sexual assault, to illegal firearm possession. Among major US sports, it is NFL and NBA players who have the highest rates of arrest; so players know, coming into the draft, that their fate could just as easily be a Super Bowl or a felony conviction. 

Tonight, as hundreds of players prepare to see their futures unfold, many are eagerly awaiting what comes next. Alex Thompson, a linebacker, is expected to be drafted in the 1st Round and to him this is a critical moment. “I really want to be picked up by a good team like the Bucs or Packers because that could bring me closer to a Super Bowl Ring quickly in my career. That’ll make a huge difference when I eventually get arrested for domestic assault because I can pawn off that ring for bail money.”

Wide Receiver, Andre Taylor, is more humble “I’m just really happy to be here. It’s all about working hard and giving it my best everyday to become the best that I can be. I really think I have the potential to be a star but it’s up to me to stay grounded. I want to thank God for this chance and I really just hope he doesn’t end up making me murder someone in some Dallas dive bar.” 

Defensive Linemen play a particularly violent role on the field as they try to bring down the Quarterback and plug up the running lanes which means players need to have the attitude to the fight in the trenches. Santiago Bustos is aware this can be a blessing or a curse. “I play hard. It’s part of who I am. I am hopeful that this opportunity leads me closer to becoming a better, stronger man but I also realize it also brings me closer to a prison sentence. I just hope it’s the former,” he chuckles. 

Running back, August Brown, is one of the top touted prospects at his position and he is giddy with excitement. “Who knows what’s going to happen next. I might get picked up by the Philadelphia Eagles, the Steelers, New Orleans. Those would be some of my favourites. I can’t lie though, if I get drafted by the Bills I might just have to pull an OJ.”

Alexis McNeil, who plays as a Quarterback, isn’t allowed to speak with us and is represented by his mother, Doris. Doris is firm with her estimation of Alexis’ potential “If my boy doesn’t bring back home more Super Bowl rings than Tom Brady I will be profoundly disappointed. In that regard if he gets drafted by the Raiders, Jets, or Jaguars he is NOT going to sign.”

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