Coming out of Cincinnati, Celek was one of the biggest Combine snubs that year, something he says lit a fire under him. When his named was called by the Philadelphia Eagles, he was ready to get to work. Now, the tight end has 4,713 career receiving yards and 30 career touchdowns to his name. Reflecting back on his own draft experience, Celek wouldn’t change a thing. He’s an Eagle through and through.
On Being Drafted By The Eagles
“It was a dream come true. I had wanted to play in the NFL since I was a little kid and to be drafted is like the ultimate. I was going to do everything in my power to make sure I made the most of the opportunity. I was just super excited, just the fact that a dream was coming true for me.”
On Who He Looked Up To As A Rookie
“The guys that were here the longest like (Jon) Runyan, Tra Thomas, Donovan McNabb, Brian Westbrook, Brian Dawkins, all those guys. They were the leaders of the team. They had played their whole career here. I wanted to do the same thing and I always looked up to those types of guys. I grew up playing with those guys on video games. To be in the same locker room as them, playing on the same field, starting in games with them, it was surreal when it was happening. I just watched what they did every day and how they worked at practice, how they prepared for games. I think that was the biggest thing. I don’t think they needed to say much. They just showed me.”
On His Mindset At Rookie Camp
“I wanted to make sure that they understood they were getting a good player. There’s only so much you can do coming in as a rookie, knowing what you know. I think it’s all about your mindset once you get there and how you work once you’re there.”
On The Advice He Would Give His Younger Self
“I would tell myself to try and do the right thing in every situation. There’s going to be times where you’re going to make mistakes but learn from them and don’t make the same mistake twice. If you do that, you’ll be good. I just worked hard every single day and took it as it came. You can’t prepare for anything specifically, but you can make sure that you’re doing everything you can to be where you need to be physically and mentally.
“Nothing in this league is given to you. You have to earn it. It takes you coming to work every single day. It doesn’t matter what you did yesterday. It’s all about what you do today. If I could do it all over again knowing what I know now, I’d want to be picked by the Philadelphia Eagles again.”