10 NFL players who had the toughest path to the pros

Just because a player got into the NFL and played at the highest level doesn’t mean they had an easy road to getting there. While many players have been trained for the sport and have had an easier path than others, that’s not the case for everyone.

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In the NFL, many players have had a rough run in the league. Also, many fans are unaware of their past and the road to get there due to their success in the league. Here are ten individuals who had to work hard to reach the highest level of sport.


ten Travis Kelce

Travis Kelce is one of the best tight ends in the game today and one of the best players in the league overall. However, many fans would be shocked to realize that his high school career wasn’t great, which would lead to him being a two-star recruit.

The tight end decided to play for the University of Cincinnati, but only had one take in his first three seasons due to injury and a positive marijuana test. Upon his return, he had two lackluster seasons but was drafted by the Kansas City Chiefs in 2013, where he has now made a name for himself as a future Hall of Famer.

9 Brandon Jacobs

Brandon Jacobs’ stint in the NFL was a long one, with two Super Bowl rings and over 5,000 rushing yards. It’s an impressive run for a running back who has spent most of his college career on the move looking for a chance to shine.

Jacobs spent two seasons at Coffeyville Community College before walking to Auburn, where he spent a year as a third-string runner. He left to play D-3 football for his senior year, where he had a solid year. The New York Giants finally bet on him in the fourth round, which worked out, to say the least.

8 Cameron Wake

Cameron Wake’s difficult NFL journey could be made into a movie. The defensive end received a scholarship to play football at Penn State, where he has done so for his entire college career. Unfortunately, he didn’t live up to the hype and didn’t play much in college.

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He was undrafted and had a cup of coffee with the New York Giants before being cut and heading to the CFL. He then had two insane seasons with the BC Lions, earning him a successful contract with the Miami Dolphins in 2009. It was the shot he needed as he became a monster for the league. team for nearly a decade. .

seven Taysom Hill

Taysom Hill’s current role in the NFL is one no one ever saw coming. The current New Orleans Saints utility player does it all, unlike his college career, where he couldn’t stay on the field.

While in college at BYU, Hill suffered four season-ending injuries, suffering from everything from a broken foot to a broken leg to a hyper-extended elbow. He was undrafted in 2017 and was quickly signed, then cut by the Green Bay Packers. He finally got a chance with the Saints, where he currently resides.

6 matt cassel

Matt Cassel had a strong NFL career, playing nearly 15 seasons and making the Pro Bowl. However, that would have seemed impossible after his college run at USC, where he didn’t start a single game.

Cassel even experimented on tight end teams and special teams to get a shot, but wasn’t good there either. After throwing just 33 passes in four seasons, the New England Patriots shot him in the draft, taking him in the seventh round. It was the hit he needed.

5 Julien Edelman

The New England Patriots apparently have their eye on talent in the seventh round. Julian Edelman was a quarterback for Kent State in college and wasn’t very good, to say the least. However, he clearly had the physical talent.

In 2009, the Patriots took a risk on him in the last round. That risk has worked, as Edelman has been a fixture in the team for over a decade and is currently hoping to find his footing in Canton.

4 Richard Sherman

Richard Sherman was one of the league’s best cornerbacks for nearly a decade, having had incredible stints with the Seattle Seahawks and San Francisco 49ers. However, his road to the league didn’t even start with him in defence.

Sherman was a three-star freshman out of college and decided to go to Stanford to play wide receiver. After three lackluster seasons with injury, he moved to cornerback in 2009. There he played well, but not very well to finish his college career, but was drafted late by the Seahawks in 2011, where he became a legend.

3 Priest Holmes

Priest Holmes is one of the greatest running backs of the 2000s, having earned a Super Bowl ring and multiple Pro Bowl nods. It would have seemed impossible after his college career, where he played for the University of Texas.

In four years there, Holmes barely played. This lack of production led to him being an undrafted player, who was picked up by the Baltimore Ravens. Luckily, they saw his talent and he eventually won a Super Bowl with the team. He then had a record season with the Chiefs, rushing for 27 touchdowns in 2003.

2 Mayfield Baker

Baker Mayfield is a controversial player in today’s NFL. While he was solid for the Cleveland Browns and even won them a playoff game, he was kicked out of town in favor of Deshaun Watson this year. Now in a proof situation in Carolina, that’s nothing new for the QB.

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Mayfield was a three-star freshman out of high school and received only a handful of offers. He decided to continue at Texas Tech, where he performed well, but did not receive a scholarship. He then decided to walk to the University of Oklahoma, where he missed a year due to transfer rules. After returning, he became a legend for the school, which led to him being drafted first overall in 2018.

1 Warren Moon

Warren Moon’s career was crazy to put it lightly. After four lackluster seasons in college at the University of Washington, he was undrafted in 1978. No NFL team wanted him, at least as a QB, he went to the CFL.

There he won five championships with the Edmonton Eskimos. After this sustained success, he forced the NFL to pay attention to him. He was picked up by the Houston Oilers in 1984, beginning his journey to the Pro Football Hall of Fame. Not bad for a player no one wanted.

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