By Chris Williams, CycloneFanatic.com Publisher
The pressure is on, in more ways than one.
Iowa State’s annual Pro Day will be held next Tuesday (March 22) and the event will have a different feel this year. Former Cyclones will still work out for NFL scouts. That will not change. But being drafted is more important than ever this year.
Last Friday, the NFLPA officially decertified. Now, a lockout appears to be inevitable. While this won’t immediately affect the Tom Brady’s of the world, a college prospect who is a borderline late-round pick to a prospective free agent is now feeling the heat.
“It is actually kind of scary,” former Iowa State running back Alexander Robinson told CycloneFanatic.com. “Just to think that you can go through all of this training and as a guy who is maybe a late-round free agent, it is scary because now free agents aren’t going to get picked up.”
In the past, not being drafted was sometimes actually a better scenario for certain players, when you compare it to being selected in say, the seventh round of the draft. That way, the prospect’s agent would strategically sign the prospect with a team that held a high level of interest, with a depth chart that could potentially provide a better opportunity than another.
In this lockout scenario, undrafted players would not be able to sign with teams as a free agent. Ultimately, that could result in missing an entire season football.
“At this point with the lockout that is almost guaranteed, it puts more pressure on you,” said Robinson. “Now, you want to do as much as you can to get a team to take a chance on you in a late round.”
Right now, a guy like Robinson is helpless. He can only control one thing.
"All I can do is put myself in the best position possible to get drafted," Robinson said. “My agent thinks that at this point, we just have to see what happens. I really can’t control anything."
Former Iowa State lineman Ben Lamaak is in a bit of a different situation. While nothing is certain, Lamaak seems to have a decent shot of being drafted in April, while Robinson appears to be on the fence.
“I really haven’t been trying to think about it too much, but it’s inevitable,” Lamaak said. “It will be more interesting to see what happens come draft day and that time period thereafter. I really hope they can get this figured out as soon as possible. I am trying not to put to much pressure and stress on myself, but I know whatever teams drafts me that I will be able to contribute to their team.”
CycloneFanatic.com will keep you updated on how all of the former Cyclones perform during next week’s Pro Day.