The NFL is a tough business and Clemson football alum James Skalski is finding out just how ruthless it can be.
Despite all the accolades, awards and toughness on display for 69 games over six seasons at Clemson, Skalski wasn’t even invited to the combine.
But that doesn’t mean he can’t make it in the NFL, maybe as a late round draftee or more likely a free agent picked up after the draft.
Scouting reports are always tough on players, focusing on the negatives more than the positives, even for a player such as Trevor Lawrence.
For a player like Skalski, you’re going to find a lot of negatives, a lot of them around size and speed and that’s understandable, but the summary provides a good balance between the two.
"SCOUTING REPORT: SUMMARYSkalski is a solid player who will likely be looked at as a late-round prospect in the 2022 NFL Draft. He’s a smart great effort player, with surprising strength, with good agility but undersized and he may be viewed as a player who might struggle as a pro starter. His best hope is likely as a versatile NFL backup who could provide a significant contribution on special teams."
I know one thing, I trusted Skalski when he was on the field to be in the right place, giving 100% on each and every play. That’s not always enough in the NFL as former Tiger linebacker Ben Boulware found out.
While being labeled a “NFL backup who could provide a significant contribution on special teams” may not be what Skalski wants to hear, it’s also not a bad label as there are guys that make entire careers as special teamers.
Heart and guts can sometimes get you by in college football, even at the highest level that Clemson usually plays at. Not so much in the NFL as your playing against the top half percent of the top half percent and things you might get away with in college you simply won’t in the NFL.
Whether he gets drafted or not, I believe there’s a place for Skalski in the NFL, just as the summary alludes to.