Insider highlights how top NFL Draft prospects can hand-pick their NFL team

NFL Draft, NFL
Ron Chenoy-USA TODAY Sports

Top high school athletes get to pick which college they want to attend, or they at least have the option to select from multiple offers. But that option goes out the window when the NFL Draft arrives once their college careers are over.

Sure. Some top NFL athletes like John Elway and Eli Manning have successfully orchestrated trades to avoid landing in situations they’d prefer not to be in, but the decisions didn’t come without a massive amount of scrutiny. Doing so again today would only bring about even more controversy, with the ‘diva’ label sure to be tossed around by some.

Yet, we have to remember, these are human beings. They’re not cattle. These prospects do have feelings, they do have emotions. They also have favorite teams and others who they may be sour on. That’s only natural.

But simply allowing prospects to pick and choose their NFL teams without going through a draft process would bring about complete chaos, not to mention the balance of the scales being thrown way off as some teams like the Cowboys surpass other small-market franchises who would otherwise have no shot at landing the best college football player available. This is exactly why the NFL Draft was introduced in 1967.

However, one NFL insider, Mike Florio of Pro Football Talk, recently highlighted exactly how top NFL Draft prospects could pick and choose their team in the pros if they wanted. Yet, the process is far from simple, and it requires a LOT of patience.

Related: Celebrity overnight: NC State’s basketball star D.J. Burns receiving NFL interest

NFL Draft prospects could sit out two years, then sign anywhere as an undrafted free agent

According to Mike Florio, the NFL’s current Collective Bargaining Agreement allows prospects who don’t want to play for the team they were drafted by another option.

If a prospect is willing to sit out for the entire year, he may re-enter the draft. However, if he still doesn’t like where he lands, he could once again sit out for another season. Then, in the following draft, he’d be allowed to become essentially an ‘undrafted’ free agent, thus able to sign with any team he chooses.

Not to mention, players who ink contracts as undrafted free agents have the freedom to sign any contract they want after the second season. Meanwhile, all drafted players must wait at least three years. So, in turn, going this route could earn a prospect a lot more money in the long run, but they’d also have to sacrifice two years of their career early on.

Sitting out for two full seasons has never been done before, and it’s hard to imagine a player doing so today. Yet, crazier things have happened.

Related: 2024 NFL mock draft: Raiders, Vikings land QBs as part of Round 1 trades

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