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Back in 2010, Chris Maragos waited to hear if his name would be called on Draft Weekend. It never was, but that didn't stop him from going after his dream.
Now in 2016, Maragos has made a name for himself in the NFL and even has a Super Bowl win with Seattle to his name. Looking back on his route to the league though, the safety wouldn't have changed a thing. He's proud of the road he took to achieve success.
On Being Undrafted
"It's not really how you start your career. It's what you do once you get here. I think a lot of guys get so focused on their draft position or just kind of the whole process of what that looks like. For me, I went undrafted and there are a lot of guys who got drafted that aren't playing. I've had an opportunity and really grateful to play as long as I have. It's not really how it starts and depending on where you're drafted, it's what you do with it once you get there."
On The Draft Process
"It's tough because you've obviously done good things in college, which is why you're in that position which is great. But, there are so many unknowns. What team are you going to go to? Is the scheme going to be a good fit for you? Are you going to mesh well with the city? All those types of things. There's so much going on with the interview process, just all the different things that go into it. There's a lot on your plate. Some of these guys are finishing school still as well, so they're studying, trying to finish their last few credits of college to get their degree and then also training and getting ready for everything. It's just a big transition. I think the biggest thing is just embrace the process. Enjoy it. It's fun. It's the one time you kind of go through something like this. There are so many things you have to do and a lot of guys get bogged down by it, but I think you have to just enjoy it and be grateful you're in that position."
On Entering His Rookie Season
"I think for me, I was expecting just to get an opportunity, a fair shot. For me, I knew I was going to put the work in and was just hoping to get the amount of reps that I could get in OTAs and Training Camp and get the amount of playing time in the preseason to show enough where it would warrant my abilities and be able to showcase myself. Fortunately, I had those opportunities to do that. Again, you try to just put your best foot forward every day. I think so many people get caught up in the bigger picture. I think you just have to take it one day at a time and whether it's being great in the weight room or being great on the practice field or the walkthrough, you just try to be great at all the little things you can do and string those things together and then great things happen."
On The Advice He Would Give His Younger Self
"What I would tell myself is, 'Success is a byproduct, so focus on your product.' I would think that I would always remind myself, at least if I could go back, put that up on my bathroom mirror or whatever because you get so caught up in the transactions or what's going on on a daily basis. I think you have to block all that stuff out and focus on every little detail that you can to be great and focus on your product. Don't focus on success, trying to make it or staying on the roster. Those things happen themselves if you take care of all the details you need to be great. If you can do that you'll put yourself in a position to be great.
"Just keep being a sponge. There are so many coaches and players that helped shape who I am, whether it be the way I saw a certain guy work or the mentality they brought to all the different things. Just keep your mind open to all the things you can to pick up all the little pieces from each person. My dad (Nick) told me growing up, 'Take the good from everybody and add it to who you are and throw out the bad stuff and decipher that. Everybody that you come in contact with, take a little bit of what they do well and add it to yourself. If you can do that, hopefully you can be well-rounded and complete.'"
On Handling Adversity In The NFL
"Out of high school I had no scholarships. I walked on at Western Michigan, really was hard to get playing time there. Finally I was able to start. Going to Wisconsin as a walk-on, switching positions, finally earning the scholarship – you really learn at a young age how to overcome adversity and you build a really thick skin to things. So, for me when I got to the NFL and was undrafted, I looked at it like I already knew how to overcome adversity. I already knew what it was going to take and I already knew the steps. I planned out ahead of time what it was going to take to make it. It was almost like a blessing because I had been through it. Even now to this day when adversity comes, you already know how to work right through it. It's really been beneficial having that throughout my career. I wouldn't change it."
You can be a part of #EaglesDraft by attending our Spotlight Forum with Maragos, Brandon Graham and Jordan Hicks during the third day of the NFL Draft on April 30 at Lincoln Financial Field. Get autographs from the players as well as this commemorative poster.