My NFL Draft Experience: Don Davey’s Dream Comes True
For NFL fans around the globe, the NFL Draft has become a year-round spectacle. Media coverage has expanded to putting out mock drafts during the current NFL season, websites have popped up allowing fans to try and guess who will go where and NFL Draft pundits now spend months and months building up and tearing down young men looking to take the first step in their professional careers.
For the players, the NFL Draft is the start of something special. All of the hard work and training they have been putting in since the first time they strapped on a helmet in pee-wee football is finally paying off. Their dream of playing football at the NFL level is about to come true, they just need to be drafted first.
There is so much that goes on for players leading up to the NFL Draft that fans do not know about. Anxiety about where they are going to get drafted, happiness and celebration with family members and for some, even disappointment when their name is not called when the draft comes to a close.
Because of this, the VIKTRE Career Network wanted to give fans a behind the scenes look at what goes through the minds of NFL players in a series called “My NFL Draft Experience.” We have lined up a number of former NFL players, ranging from former first-round draft picks to undrafted players, and will be interviewing them leading up to the 2017 NFL Draft.
The first person we had the pleasure of interviewing is VIKTRE athlete, Don Davey.
Davey was drafted No. 67 overall in the third round of the 1991 NFL Draft by the Green Bay Packers out of the University of Wisconsin. A defensive tackle, Davey would enjoy a career of four seasons with the Packers and then five seasons with the Jacksonville Jaguars beginning in 1995 when they joined the league as an expansion team.
Since leaving the NFL, Davey has made a successful transition to a career after football. We previously interviewed him about his transition, and he is consistently sharing his journey through VIKTRE for the fans. We appreciate Davey taking the time to share his experience in the 1991 NFL Draft with us.
What was the most memorable question you were asked by an NFL team during the pre-draft process? How did that compare to any questions you may have been asked when transitioning to a career after football?
At the time, the defensive line coach for the Cincinnati Bengals was former Wisconsin and Bengal great, Tim Krumrie. He flew to Madison to put me a through a one-on-one workout. He was very intense as a player, so I expected the workout to be equally intense. However, two minutes into the workout, he stopped me and said, “I’ve seen enough. Where can we get some cheese curds?” 🙂
What was the NFL Draft experience like for you? Did you attend the draft, have a party with friends and family or do something else?
I spent the day watching the draft with my family and high school sweetheart in Manitowoc, WI.
What round did you think you were going to be drafted? If you went later than you thought, how did you deal with that?
I was projected to be drafted anywhere from the 2nd to the 5th round. I ended up going early in the 3rd, so there were no huge surprises. However, I never dreamed I would be lucky enough to be drafted by the Packers.
Once you were drafted, did you set any goals for yourself in year one? Did you target a specific person on the depth chart to try and beat out for the job?
I immediately set a goal of making the team and contributing as a rookie.
What did you learn from your NFL Draft experience that helped you when transitioning to a career after football?
As exciting as it was, the reality of having to compete against the best players on the planet was very intimidating. I felt the same way when I retired from the NFL and realized I would now be competing against the best business owners in the world.
Do you have any other memories or moments from your NFL Draft Experience you would like to share with the fans?
I have wonderful memories of Draft Day. I spent the day with my family in my hometown, not knowing when or where I would be drafted. When the phone rang, my Dad answered and could hardly contain his excitement when he told me it was Tom Braatz from the Green Bay Packers. I grew up 30 minutes from Green Bay and had been a lifetime Packer fan. Being drafted by the Packers was a total dream come true for me.
After I got the call, my entire family along with several friends and teammates caravanned up to Green Bay. I lived so close, that I actually arrived prior to the Packers’ first and second-round picks, who both had to fly. Since I was the first to arrive, the media swarmed not only me, but my family and friends as well. To this day, the Packers tell me I hold two Green Bay Packer Draft Day records: quickest arrival after being drafted and largest entourage!