Path to the Pros 2017 Articles

Follow the journey of 24 top NFL Draft prospects as they prepare themselves for the biggest moment of their lives, all in hopes of accomplishing their dream of playing professional football.

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How a Support Crew Named 'The Dream Team' Helped Houston Texans DB Treston Decoud Escape a Life of Violence and Make it to the NFL

Treston Decoud saw wasted potential. He saw families torn apart. He saw the impact of crime on friends and loved ones in his hometown of Covington, Lo...

By: Brandon Hall

Utah LB Pita Taumoepenu's Incredible Journey From Tongan Fruit Farmer To NFL Draft Prospect

When Pita Taumoepenu caught his first glimpse of American football, he was 17 years old. He didn't know a lick of English, but he knew he liked what h...

By: Brandon Hall

Ultra-Athletic Michigan DE Chris Wormley Is Ready To Attack The NFL

Michigan's defense was suffocating last season. The team allowed just 3,032 yards, lowest in the FBS. Their 12.5 points allowed per game ranked sec...

By: Brandon Hall

How T.J. Watt Transitioned From Tight End to a Top NFL Linebacker Prospect

T.J. Watt's football career hasn't always been easy. The former Wisconsin linebacker lost two seasons to injury and had to abruptly switch positions f...

By: Andy Haley

How TCU DE Josh Carraway Transformed Himself From A Two-Star Recruit To A Top Pass-Rusher in The 2017 NFL Draft

It's a defensive coordinator's worst nightmare—the opposing quarterback hanging out in the pocket cool as a cucumber, casually waiting for routes to...

By: Brandon Hall

How Football Helped Kentucky RB Stanley 'Boom' Williams Overcome Tragedy

For the first time in his life, Stanley "Boom" Williams didn't feel like playing football. Last Summer, Williams' 18-year-old sister—Kenyatta Mil...

By: Brandon Hall

Washington CB Sidney Jones's High School Coach Told Him He Wasn't Good Enough to Play Cornerback

Sidney Jones's Path to the Pros was going exactly as planned. Over three seasons for the Washington Huskies, Jones established himself as one of the p...

By: Andy Haley

Michigan RB De'Veon Smith's Mother Is All The Motivation He Needs To Make It in The NFL

Brothers compete. It's just what they do. As the youngest of five football-playing brothers, De'Veon Smith took his licks. Lance Smith played at...

By: Brandon Hall

Missouri DE Charles Harris Brings a 'Black Mamba Mentality' to The NFL

Charles Harris still remembers his first football play. He was a junior at Lincoln College Prep. He'd spent his entire life dreaming of being an NB...

By: Brandon Hall

How Ohio State LB Raekwon McMillan's No-Nonsense Mindset Helped Him Become a Top NFL Prospect

The Ohio State Buckeyes have a reputation for producing some of the best defensive players in the NFL. Joey Bosa and Ryan Shazier are the most recent ...

By: Andy Haley