LAS VEGAS (KLAS) — The memories flow for former Raiders QB Jay Schroeder as the NFL Draft unfolds.
He played alongside some of the biggest stars in Raiders history during his five years with the team. The names roll off his tongue: “Willie Gault, Sam Graddy, Tim Brown, Mervyn Fernandez, Marcus Allen, Bo Jackson …”
But you don’t start out in the league as a star.
“There’s 100-some schools that play Division I — prime-time, big-time college football — to 32 teams. So the pool gets very small very quickly,” Schroeder said.
“All these kids are going to get drafted, and they’ll be on a flight tomorrow back to that town meeting all the people that are involved with it. So their life is changed dramatically … and it starts right now,” he said.
And there’s no guarantee everything will go smoothly when they arrive. Schroeder recalls what happened when he was drafted by the Washington Redskins — now the Washington Commanders.
“I got drafted, I was told my flight leaves early the next morning. I fly out. I get to Washington. I get off the plane. And nobody — I mean … nobody — is there to pick me up,” Schroeder remembers.
“It took me about an hour to get through to the Redskins and they said ‘Where are you?’ “
Then they told him his press conference was scheduled to start in five minutes. They said they would send someone to pick him up.