Can NFL players be drafted from high school?
Becoming a pro football player is a dream of many teenagers, but no matter how talented you are, you can’t join the NFL straight out of high school.
Some high school football stars are itching to go professional right after they graduate, but the NFL does not allow it, and they will have to wait a few years.
The league’s rule is very clear on this matter: “To be eligible for the draft, players must have been out of high school for at least three years and must have used up their college eligibility before the start of the next college football season.”
“Players are draft-eligible only in the year after the end of their college eligibility.”
3-year rule challenged
Some players have tried to get around the rule and play earlier by legally challenging the guideline, but so far the NFL has been able to stick to its guns.
It is believed that the physical, mental, and emotional demands of playing in the league would make it extremely difficult for a young man to succeed in the NFL.
Another factor to be considered is the lack of financial management background of young players. Many NFL players encounter financial difficulties or even bankruptcy only a few years into retirement, so it’s easy to foresee that a teenager would struggle managing possibly millions at an early age.
Freedom to play
On the other side is the argument that players who are young should have the freedom to try to play pro football, especially if it gives him a chance to feed his family or do other things that would benefit him.
The tension appears to be between considering the rights of the player, and what is best for him and the sport.
For now, the NFL is holding fast to its position, one that is legal and part of the Collective Bargaining Agreement. And for the moment there seems to be little incentive for them to change it.