Over the course of 3 days, starting on April 26 and ending April 28, NFL teams selected recent college athletes throughout a total of 7 rounds. Thereafter, even more players were added to NFL team rosters to compete through training camp and possibly preseason for positions on a team's 53-man roster or its practice squad.
While players taken at the top of the NFL Draft may initially he put in the best position to succeed, absolutely nothing is guaranteed. Many top picks have not lasted longer than their rookie contracts.
Similarly, some of the later picks in an NFL Draft have ended up being the most successful among their peers. New England quarterback Tom Brady is perhaps the most popular example of that as a former sixth round pick who has been in the league for almost 2 decades, but he is certainly not alone.
Another athlete who has put together an amazing career to date is Pittsburgh Steelers wide receiver Antonio Brown.
"100 picks into the NFL draft 8 years ago I woke up still waiting on my phone call...Remember you just have to get in the door," tweeted Brown during the 2018 NFL Draft. Brown was selected in the second-to-last round of the 2010 NFL Draft and is now widely considered the best at his position. He is currently earning $68 million on a 4-year contract.
Just getting in the door is good advice for anyone with a passion for success at a trade, but sports owner and Shark Tank host Mark Cuban took the idea a step further in a follow-up tweet.
"This applies to all jobs. But AB left out how hard he had to work to be able to get someone to open the door. When everyone wants that same job, there are no shortcuts. There is only knowledge and effort," wrote Cuban.
Just getting a foot in the door isn't enough. First, you must work hard to open the door and then even harder as you're walking through. There are no shortcuts to become a premier player like Brown, only constant struggles and effort.