Despite being one of the highest rated prospects at tight end for the 2019 NFL Draft, CJ Conrad from Kentucky went undrafted. Due to an enlarged pulmonary artery in his heart discovered in his physical examination, Conrad was not even allowed to participate in the NFL Combine.
Several weeks later, a second opinion found the medical issue to not be as significant as once thought and he was declared eligible to play in the NFL. The Giants may not have made the smartest decisions during the draft, but they made one hell of a pick up afterwards, signing Conrad as an undrafted free agent.
The weeks between the diagnosis and the second opinion had to have been some of the hardest of Conrad’s life. But anyone who knows him will say that his positive attitude carried him though. He was even positive about his future regardless of if included football or not, telling his parents, “No matter what happens, I’m a college graduate, things will work out the way they will and I’ll be successful no matter what happens.” (USA Today). That’s one of the most mature, glass-half-full outlooks you’ll hear from an NFL prospect.
And now that football will most certainly be his future, his attitude is what will keep him there and make coaching staffs fall in love with him. Even missing out on thousands of dollars from being undrafted, Conrad is still optimistic that he will make the Giants 53 man roster.
The road that led CJ Conrad to the NFL had to be one of the most emotional of anyone in his class. One second he was a top TE prospect and the next he was never going play in the NFL. That couple week span between his first and second opinions had to have been emotionally devastating. He probably even thought about applying for a couple coaching jobs. The mental fortitude he needed to stay confident that everything would work out fine shows just how strong of a person he really is.
Good luck on the Giants, CJ. All of BBN is rooting for you.