GALLERY: 9 undrafted players whose careers turned out fine
Every time an NFL team made a selection during the 2022 NFL draft, a distinct jingle rang out.
For some 200 former college football players, it signaled the immediate start of their professional careers in the NFL. For many more, it was a haunting sound heard 262 times without hearing their name follow.
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While the heartache of going undrafted is a harsh sting, it isn’t the end of a career. It’s just the beginning.
Quarterback Kurt Warner was left off every team’s draft board, yet went on to have a successful career that earned him a spot in the NFL Hall of Fame — along with 16 other undrafted players.
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Wide receiver Wes Welker turned his early-career disappointment into a Pro Bowl career. Undrafted in 2004, he eventually landed with the New England Patriots — after bouncing around the San Diego Chargers and Miami Dolphins. He went to two Super Bowls with the Patriots and one more with the Denver Broncos.
Tight end Antonio Gates, who was a standout basketball player at Kent State, didn't even play football for any of his college. He went on to sign with the San Diego Changers and found a permanent home playing professional football. After his playing career, including eight Pro Bowls, Gates landed in the Los Angeles Chargers' front office.
All this to say, there is no one path to success in the NFL. With the 2022 NFL draft over, the real work begins.