Tyler Dressler did not have his name called upon at the 2022 NFL Draft after 262 selections were made.
Dressler, who was projected to be a 7th round to top priority free agent post the draft, did not get signed right away either.
That though has not stopped Dressler nor working for his dreams from happening.
Following the draft, Dressler received a phone call from the Pittsburgh Steelers organization who invited them to their rookie minicamp, which takes place today and goes through into Sunday.
The next day after the draft on that Sunday, Dressler, received a call from the New York Jets, who invited him to their minicamp.
The Jets minicamp took place last weekend. Following three days at the Jets facilities and trying to earn a roster spot and a contract, Dressler, did not receive an offer from the team.
“There was never a contract, they actually didn’t (sign) any linebackers. It was more of a tryout and to try and get a feel of things. I got some good film on tape and I got the whole experience. This was more of I got my foot in the door and if something happens in the future that I’m a guy on their list that is dependable. And I kind of knew that going in with the Jets, they were already deep at linebacker”, said Dressler on how things went with the Jets.
While Dressler did not get signed by the Jets, one thing he was able to takeaway from the minicamp with the Jets was something he knew only a little bit about and that was expectation going in. After talking with several others who had been to previous minicamps, Dressler, only had a briefing on what to expect with heading into his first minicamp with the Jets organization. Now, Dressler, has a more of a heads up of what’s to come.
“On Thursday, we flew in and that was for a lot paper work side of things. I had to get a physical. Met with the strength and conditioning staff and then the coaches. Friday, was the first day of practice. We had team meetings, special teams meetings, a little walk through, then we broke for lunch and then had our practice. Practice consisted of an individual period with all the linebackers. Every position group went to a part of the field. Following that we went into special teams. We only focused on kickoff and kickoff returns since it was a weekend camp and we couldn’t get everything in. After that we went to seven on seven for about 45 minutes to an hour competing. That was with all the draft picks, the tryout guys, free agents, everyone was there. That was pretty much like it the whole weekend”, said Dressler on how minicamp went with the Jets.
With it being a rookie minicamp, Dressler, got to see meet them all, including the Jets top picks such as the number four overall pick, Amad “Sauce” Gardener.
“I really enjoyed it, it was a cool experience. Going into it, especially being an FCS how are you going to stay in and compete with these guys from these power-five schools and top round draft picks. There really wasn’t a drop off at all (level). I figured that out relatively quick. In terms of physical abilities, even just picking up a playbook, I felt I did a phenomenal job. I talked with the linebackers coach after about things I could improve on. He gave me a few things, but besides that he felt I had a really good football camp. He’s going to put me on with a guy in Pittsburgh that he knows and he’s going to put in a good word for me. At this point, everything else is in my hand and I have one more weekend to keep my career alive”, said Dressler on the experience being amongst a group of top NFL rookies from bigger schools and the overall experience.
As weekends come for us, we try to cram so much into with so little time, especially if you’re off and not working. There’s just so little time to get everything you want done before the new week begins, but for Dressler, during his time with the Jets camp, despite all the work he went through during his tryout and the focus on said tryout, he was able to make some new bonds during his time.
“The Villanova quarterback (Daniel Smith) was there. I met with him, he was a pretty cool guy. He actually flew out of Northern Virginia with me. The Jets special teams and linebackers coach, for the short time I was there, I got their phone numbers and we talked a lot throughout the weekend. You go in with there’s no friends in the industry mindset. But regardless, you spent the whole weekend and you’re with them for 72 hours. You do bond with them and I met some pretty cool people”, said Dressler on any bonds he made while at the Jets minicamp.
Dressler added on the biggest thing he took away from the Jets minicamp, “That I can compete with these guys. Going in I was a little nervous because I was an FCS guy, but there was not a drop off at all and I realized that and I know I can play at that level and I know I can compete. I have my foot in the door and it’s just a matter of if I can kick it in.”
With the Steelers camp set to begin today, Dressler, who already has one minicamp under his belt had a little more of an understanding of what’s to expect come this weekend with the Steelers.
“What I realize is a college football defense is a lot different than an NFL defense. Just to be able to learn that defense on that first day (with Jets), I was able to call my coach at Richmond (Justin Wood), he helped me break it down a little bit and having that knowledge heading into the Steelers (minicamp) I feel is really going to be beneficial”, said Dressler.
Dressler, on if he feels he’s ready for the next level (NFL), “No question about it. What you come to find out in the NFL is if you’re a top round draft pick and you’re that good, you will find your place in the league. It’s really about opportunity. With that being said, I had a dominant career at Richmond. But you take that to the NFL and to a team that’s deep at linebackers like the Jets, it really doesn’t matter (the college stats) the opportunity is not there. I learned a lot from my experience (with the Jets) that I am going to take with me into this weekend with the Steelers.
This weekend coming up could mean everything for Dressler. Not just for this weekend, the following weekend, and so forth, but for his entire career. Dressler, has once again a chance at making his dream become a reality this weekend.