The NFL Draft can be a grueling process. Sure, everyone knows those classic, and extremely uncomfortable, videos of players sitting in the green room by themselves as all the other athletes who once sat with them have been selected.
That is bad enough, but what about those players who are at home, just waiting for their phone to ring...and it doesn’t.
This is exactly what happened to Pittsburgh Steelers 7th round pick Joshua Frazier throughout the draft process. After watching the first two days surrounded by friends and family, he opted to watch Day 3 by himself. Alone.
“I wanted to be by myself in my thoughts,” Frazier told ArkansasOnline. “That’s just the way I am.”
After waiting, does it make a player bitter, or angry?
“I was calm. I wasn’t mad,” Frazier said of his demeanor as he watched others being selected ahead of him. “I was texting with coaches from other teams [Detroit Lions, Philadelphia Eagles and Baltimore Ravens] who were telling me to be patient and how they wanted me. I would’ve signed with Detroit [as a free agent] had Pittsburgh not taken me.”
Was Frazier surprised the Steelers ended up selecting him? He shouldn’t have been, considering his former defensive line coach, Karl Dunbar, is now occupying the same position with the Steelers.
“Yes, I had dinner with him but I didn’t hear much from the Steelers after that,” Frazier said. “I was talking to other teams more than them.”
“Coach Dunbar, he was my defensive line coach my junior and senior years at Alabama, I know he’ll take care of me and help me get settled. But once you’re in the league, it’s dog-eat-dog, and you have to take care of yourself.”
As for Dunbar, he spoke glowingly of the addition of Frazier to a cast of characters which includes Cameron Heyward, Stephon Tuitt, Tyson Alualu and L.T. Walton.
“He’s a big, strong kid and he can command two blockers,” Dunbar said of Frazier, who was the No. 1 high school recruit in Arkansas in 2014 when he signed with Alabama. “Hopefully, his best football is ahead of him.”
Frazier’s top competition in training camp will likely be Daniel McCullers, who the Steelers signed to a one-year contract this offseason, but Frazier will have a lot to prove to the team who selected him with their final pick in the selection process. Frazier might have a chip on his shoulder, but it won’t be anything until he proves his worth at the NFL level.