The NFL draft has a way of getting football players all choked up with emotion. It’s the realization of hopes and dreams, and quite frankly, even the media enjoys going along for the ride.
The 2017 NFL draft in Philadelphia brought a few of those tear-jerk moments. None was better than Takkarist McKinley, drafted 26th overall by the Atlanta Falcons, bursting with pride.
Standing on stage holding a picture of his late grandmother, Takk put his heart out there for everyone to see and feel.
— The Shadow League (@ShadowLeagueTSL) April 28, 2017
“I made a promise to her and I stuck to it,” he said in an outburst of passion. “I told her before she passed away, I was going to live my dream…This is who I do it for, man!” Then there was Garrett Boles, an offensive lineman out of Utah who was taken 20th overall by the Denver Broncos. He brought his infant son on the stage with him ….
… then proceeded to share a message of encouragement to kids who could use his life as an example of perseverance.
Boles, 25, has dealt with drug addiction and a host of other issues, and described himself as a “lost kid” before he connected with people who put him on a path to success.
“Those kids that struggle with anything,” he said after being drafted. “I’m reaching out to those kids and saying you know what — It does not matter where you start, it matters how you finish. Find what you want, find what you believe in and dig deep and get through it, and if you ever need anyone to talk to you can hit me up on anything and I’ll make sure I’ll be there for you and walk you through.”
Ah, the NFL draft. They’ll make their millions. Some will make teams and become All-Pros. Some won’t last a year. But for the moment, there is nothing but props to these guys.