If you happen to sitting next to a 6-foot-6, 235-pound football player at the movies this weekend, don’t be alarmed if he answers his phone.
Sometime in between when the NFL Draft begins Thursday and ends Saturday, former University of Louisville tight end and Lakota West graduate Josh Chichester is hoping for that phone to ring.
“I am planning to watch at least some of it, but I am definitely going to have my phone handy. I might go to the movies or something,” Chichester said. “That time can definitely be stressful if you sit there and watch the whole draft, thinking that any moment your name could be called. I don’t want that stress on me right now.”
For months leading up to the draft, there has been a lot of speculation on what many teams will do with their first-round selections. After those initial 32 picks, Chichester is hoping to be among the additional 221 former college football players who will be selected to play in the NFL.“I don’t know where I am predicted to go. That is hard part about it,” Chichester said.
“I am hearing different things, but I am not worried. I have done everything that I could do and that was to perform in front of scouts. Hopefully, I left a great impression on them to, at least, want to draft me. At the end of the day, it is out of my hands.”
Like many other NFL prospects, Chichester participated in his school’s pro day. While there, in front of representatives from 20 NFL teams, the former wide receiver and Louisville basketball player showed off a vertical jump that cleared 37 inches and posted a time of 4.58 seconds in the 40-yard dash.
In comparison, his vertical jump was better than any other turned in by a tight end at February’s NFL Combine. Meanwhile, his 40-time would have placed him third among his position group.
Chichester followed up the pro day performance by participating in a regional combine in Detroit at the end March. He also worked out separately for the Cincinnati Bengals and New England Patriots.
“I did everything I could to put myself in the best situation for a team to either draft me or sign me as a free agent,” Chichester said. “However it comes, I am going to consider myself blessed and take advantage of my opportunities.
“I am thankful that I have been included in this process and that it is finally here. Whatever God’s plan is for me, I am prepared to take it as it is.”