FORT WAYNE – John Goodman understands the importance of having a good reception on his cellphone.
The former Notre Dame receiver and Bishop Dwenger graduate found out how important phone reception is when he was contacted by the Denver Broncos, the only team he has spoken to as the NFL draft approaches. The draft begins Thursday and finishes Saturday.
They gave me a call. I actually missed it, Goodman said. I called back right away. He missed my call then, but he called me back right away.
Hopefully, I will talk with them again. But if its them or anybody else, Im just excited about the opportunity.
Goodman said he understands he will likely have to wait until Saturday, when the fourth through seventh rounds of the draft are held, before there is a chance his name will be called.
And the 6-foot-3, 206-pounder also knows there is a chance he will not be selected during the three-day draft after he finished his Notre Dame career with 35 receptions for 474 yards and four touchdowns.
Goodman said he is ready to try to make in the NFL as an undrafted free agent.
Whether Im drafted or not, Ive been prepped by my agent (Roosevelt Barnes) and a couple of other people that know about it, Goodman said.
Being undrafted and being a free agent isnt such a bad thing at all.
Free agents have become an important resource for teams after the draft, according to former NFL coach and current ESPN Monday Night Football analysis Jon Gruden.
I think it is critical that you have a process in place that allows you to compete for the players that werent drafted. Because there are a lot of good players left on the board that have draftable grades, Gruden said during a teleconference April 15. Youve got to get on the phone immediately and recruit the player, recruit the agent, sell the opportunity that hell have to make your team and contribute, whether it be as a backup linebacker or special teams performer. Its almost like lets make a deal, if you know what I mean.
Goodman has kept in shape after the Irishs season ended with a 42-14 loss to Alabama in the BCS championship game Jan. 7 by working out at AWP Sports Performance. He participated in Notre Dames Pro Day on March 26, running a 4.59 40-yard dash and jumping a 34-inch vertical.
While Goodman has kept his body ready for a chance to play in the NFL, he said Barnes has being doing his part to get the receiver that opportunity.
Hes getting my name out there, which is really the main thing that he needs to do with a client like me, Goodman said. Hes a great agent, and I know he is going to do right for me.
Goodman also has a great example of what an undrafted player can do for an NFL team in former Notre Dame offensive lineman Trevor Robinson.
The 6-5, 305-pound Robinson wasnt taken in last years draft, but the offensive guard signed with Cincinnati and played in 13 games, making seven starts, for the Bengals this season.
Ive talked to Trevor Robinson a lot because he was a free agent, and he did a heck of a job for the Bengals this year, Goodman said. He played a lot, and hes going to make a heck of a lot of money one day. And he was a free agent. There have been so many guys that have come out of free agency. Im hoping to be another diamond in the rough for a team.