Each year, the National Football League meets for a weekend in April to select from the best college football players in the country. 1,400 players will enter the draft. 255 will be chosen.
From the end of their final season in college to the stage at Radio City Music Hall, talented athletes go through a long, complicated and exhausting process to be given a chance to play at the next level. In 2006, the competition was fierce. With the likes of Mario Williams, Santonio Holmes and DeAngelo Williams in the mix, four players had to give it their all to hopeful fulfill their dreams. DonTrell Moore, Derek Hagan, Clint Ingram and Travis Wilson march the trail from strengthening through IMG Academies to competing at the Senior Bowl to showcasing their skills at the Combine and Pro Days to waiting for their names to get called at the end of April. The filmmakers take you deep into the process, conditioning and heartbreak endured by each of these players as well as the reaction and connections with each young man’s family and friends.
If director Don Argott does anything through his film it’s give the road to the draft significant depth. History has already been decided, but the experience of training programs and the steps prior to the draft are finally given more of a behind the scenes tour. Argott does a great job with highlighting the emotional toll and the balance between the physical and the mental aspects of the game. Derek Hagan was the perfect example of this balance. As all of the players struggled at times in the workouts, he was given the biggest stage of the group of four in the Senior Bowl. With that time, he struggled to pull in several passes. You could see the anguish in his face and the frustration on draft day when the mistakes added up in his mind to see his previous late 1st round prediction drop all the way down to the 3rd round. DonTrell Moore’s story was also very impressive, as he played the role of the player with great talent and potential whose school was overshadowed by the other players’ schools. When you compare Oklahoma and Arizona State to New Mexico, there just is not the same attention to the players as you see from those big conferences like the Big 12 and Pac 10. The fact that he does not get selected seemed to be a lack of luck rather than lack of skill.
For the football fan in me, I truly enjoyed the story of the players and the process of the end of college to the start of the pros.
Dan’s Rating: 3.5/5