LAS VEGAS - NOVEMBER 18: Phillip Payne #4 of the UNLV Rebels scores a touchdown as he gets away from (L-R) Jon Davis #6 Anthony Wooding Jr. #34 and Austin Niklas #57 of the Air Force Falcons during their game at Sam Boyd Stadium November 18 2010 in Las Vegas Nevada. (Photo by Ethan Miller/Getty Images)
While the chances of being drafted are slim to none, a group of Air Force players hope to make it in the NFL anyways as undrafted free agents.
While the odds of actually getting drafted by an NFL team this month are slim to none, a group of players from the Air Force Falcons aren't simply giving up on their dreams of playing pro football. As Frank Schwab of the Colorado Springs Gazette writes, receiver Jonathan Warzeka and safety Jon Davis are among the Falcons players trying to break into the NFL this year regardless of whether they're drafted or not.
No player from Air Force has been drafted by an NFL team since 1999, but players from the school have emerged as contributors in the pros after being signed as undrafted free agents. For guys like Warzeka and Davis, that's likely to be their only route to possibly sticking around the league for a few years. The latter thinks he's got what it takes:
I look at some of those guys who will be drafted, and I feel like I play at the same tempo or even better tempo, and make more plays than them. But I think NFL teams know that and see it. I just need one team to like me. I just need to get out on the field and show them what I can do. When that happens, I know they’ll like me.
Because Air Force players have service requirements as part of their military duty, teams shy away from them because they can't immediately come to the NFL. Even with a pro contract in hand, Air Force players are required to do two years of military service before going into the pros. Few teams are willing to take a chance on a guy that can't play in the league for two years.