Sproles provides insight into his NFL career

Darren Sproles on the loose in the NFL.

Darren Sproles on the loose in the NFL.

From the playerstribune.com

By Darren Sproles

You’re an NFL scout, and you need a running back. The draft is approaching when a scouting report comes across your desk, and it looks pretty impressive.

Heisman Trophy finalist. Led the nation in rushing as a junior. Averaged over six yards per carry in college with over 5,500 total yards and 47 touchdowns. All-time leading rusher for a Big 12 school. Ran a 4.37 in the 40-yard dash.

Sounds like a guy you’d have near the top of your draft board, right?

Now, what if I told you he was only 5-foot-6? How far would you let him slide?

That’s the dilemma teams faced when I entered the draft out of Kansas State in 2005. The only number scouts cared about was the one number I couldn’t control: my height. “If you were 5-foot-9, you’d be a top-five pick,” they said. But I wasn’t. I was 5-foot-6, which meant only one thing to scouts.

I was too small.

Durability was the main concern. Scouts thought because I was so small, I wouldn’t be able to withstand the hits I’d take at the NFL level. I never missed a game in college, and I was getting the ball over 20 times a game, plus returning kicks and punts. Durability? That shouldn’t even have been a question.

Going into the NFL Combine, I knew my height was gonna be something I’d have to overcome, but I knew I’d ace the Combine drills, and I hoped that my performance along with my college resume would be enough to make scouts look past my size. I was definitely wrong. Even at the Combine, my size was all anyone talked about when my name came up.

To read the entire article, click here.

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