How Many Years of College Does it Take to Become an NFL Player?

How many years of college does it take to become an NFL player? The answer may surprise you. Click to find out how long it really takes to make it to the NFL.

The Path to the NFL

It takes a lot of hard work and dedication to become an NFL player. The first step is to get into a good college and play football there. You will need to be good enough to be recruited by an NFL team, and then it takes another four years of hard work to make it to the NFL.

High school

Most players enter the NFL draft after their junior or senior year of college, but some players leave school early to enter the NFL draft. A small number of players play in NFL without playing college football. These players generally have had extensive experience in another professional football league, such as the Canadian Football League, Arena Football League, or NFL Europa.


College is the path that most NFL players take. You need to be at least three years out of high school to be eligible for the NFL draft, which means that most players will spend at least four years in college.

There are a few players who go to junior colleges or take other routes, but the vast majority of NFL players have four-year college degrees. That said, there are some players who leave school early to enter the NFL draft. If a player is deemed to be good enough, they may declare for the draft after their junior year. These players are usually considered to be the cream of the crop and are usually drafted in the first round.

The NFL Draft

The NFL draft is an annual event in which the National Football League selects eligible college football players. The draft order is determined by the previous year’s standings, with the team with the worst record receiving the first pick. The process is repeated until all 32 teams have selected a player.

The combine

The National Football League Combine is a week-long showcase occurring every February at Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis, where college football players perform physical and mental tests in front of NFL coaches, general managers, and scouts. With increasing interest in the NFL Draft, the combine has grown in scope and significance, allowing personnel directors to evaluate upcoming prospects in a standardized setting. Players attend by invitation only. Rejections are common among perceived fringe players.

The draft

The National Football League draft is an annual event in which the 32 NFL teams selectnewplayers for their rosters. The draft order is determined by each team’s record in the previous season, with the worst team picking first and the best team picking last.

Players who have been out of college for three years or more are eligible to be drafted. The draft consists of seven rounds, with each team making one pick in each round.

Players who are not selected in the draft become free agents and can sign with any team.

Playing in the NFL

College is not a requirement to play in the NFL. However, many players do attend college and play for their school’s football team before being drafted into the NFL. There are a few benefits to attending college and playing football there before going pro. College players have more time to develop their skills and mature physically. They also gain experience playing in front of large crowds and in big games, which can prepare them better for the NFL.

The preseason

In the NFL, the preseason is a time when the league’s 32 teams play four exhibition games before the regular season starts. These exhibition games do not count towards a team’s regular season record.

The NFL preseason generally occurs during the last three or four weeks of August. Preseason games are typically played on Thursdays, although there are a few exceptions. One such exception is the annual Hall of Fame Game, which is always played on a Sunday night in Canton, Ohio.

During the preseason, NFL teams also have the option of playing what are known as “joint practices.” Joint practices are opportunities for two teams to practice against each other for a few days leading up to their preseason game. These joint practices have become increasingly popular in recent years as a way for coaches to improve their team’s execution against live competition.

The regular season

The regular season of the National Football League (NFL) is the period during which each team plays 16 games out of a possible 16, which typically extends from early September to late December. Each team is allowed a maximum of 53 players on its roster at any time during the regular season and cannot exceed that number at any point during the course of the season.

The playoffs

The NFL playoffs are a single-elimination tournament held after the end of the National Football League (NFL) regular season to determine the NFL champion. Six teams from each of the league’s two conferences qualify for the playoffs based on regular season records, and a tie-breaking procedure exists in the event that two or more teams are tied. The tournament culminates in the Super Bowl, the league’s championship game.

Life after the NFL

After a successful NFL career, many players find themselves at a crossroads. They have the option to pursue a career in coaching, broadcasting, or front office operations. Others choose to stay involved with the game through player development or player personnel. A small number of players also go into business for themselves.


For many NFL players, retirement comes as a surprise. They may have been injured and unable to play, or they may have just been released from their team. Either way, it can be a difficult adjustment.

There are a few things that players can do to ease the transition into retirement. First, they can try to stay in shape and stay active. Second, they can stay involved with the NFL by working in the front office of a team or broadcasting games. Finally, they can use their platform to raise awareness for causes that are important to them.

Players also have to think about their financial future after retirement. They need to make sure that they have saved enough money to live on for the rest of their lives. They also need to be aware of the risks associated with concussions and other injuries that they may have suffered during their careers.

Retirement is a difficult time for many NFL players, but there are ways to make it easier. With proper planning, retired players can stay active and involved in the game they love while also taking care of their finances and health.


Like many former NFL players, some go into coaching while others enter the business world or broadcasting. For those seeking a career in broadcasting, there are a few options available. One option is to become a commentator or analyst on NFL games. This position generally requires a bachelor’s degree and several years’ experience working in the sports industry, either as a player or coach. Other positions in broadcasting include working as a sideline reporter or color commentator. These positions usually require a bachelor’s degree and some experience working in the sports industry as well.

Those interested in becoming a play-by-play announcer or sports broadcaster may also consider pursuing a degree in journalism or communications. While not required, internships at local television stations or sports radio networks can be helpful in landing a job after graduation.

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