Packers' 2004 Class Shares Draft Memories

For NFL prospects, Draft day can be both the most exciting and the most terrifying day of your life at the same time.

Some of these potential superstars have spent their entire lives living in the same state - some of them even in the same city - where they are tremendously familiar with their surroundings and live with the comfort of family close by.

These outstanding athletes who have been successful at nearly everything they've ever tried and have been for the most part in control of their lives are now faced with the reality that although they could soon be paid a large sum of money to play a game that they've loved playing for free for as long as they can remember, their lives will most likely be turned upside down with a call to a new and unfamiliar city.

They will also be facing the reality that they will be surrounded by players just as, or even more talented than themselves after playing for years as stars at every level of the game.

Packers.com caught up with five members of the 2004 Draft Class to recount some of their experiences from Draft day a year ago. Here's what they had to say:

Ahmad Carroll

041129carroll_a.jpg

Packers.com: What was going through your mind leading up to the draft?

Carroll: "I was just pretty much trying to stay calm, I had a lot of butterflies. I was just hoping that I had put myself in a good situation and a good team would draft me. I had a lot of butterflies leading up to the draft."

What were you doing on draft day?

"On draft day, I got away from my family and got with my agent and then I went to the mall and waited on the phone call. I tried to stay away from the TVs and radios that would be saying who got drafted before me. I even bought an extra cell phone that week and the only people I gave that number to were the coaches I had visited with."

Did you get the call from coaches or from your agent?

"I got the call from Red Cochran, telling me that the Packers were going to draft me. I ran to a restaurant in the mall and asked them to turn the TV to ESPN and then I saw myself being drafted. Then I went back home and had a lot of people at my house cheering for me and congratulating me -- it felt good."

What was the feeling when you saw your name on the TV?

"I felt like I had made it. Everything that I had worked for ever since I was a little kid watching football on TV had come through and I made it. But then the next day, I was flying up to Green Bay, so I had to push those feelings to the side because I had a job to do and I had to do whatever I could when I got here to win a job."


Joey Thomas

050328thomas_a.jpg

Packers.com: What are your memories of the time leading up to the draft?

"My memories leading up to the draft are mainly just of working out in Tempe, Arizona with guys at Athletes Performance. Then after my Pro Day, I remember just relaxing with my family until the draft came around. That was probably the best time I had, being home for two or three weeks with my family after being away for so long."

What was your draft day experience like?

"That was the unknown and I didn't know how things were going to pan out. I was wondering, 'Where am I going to get picked?' And then once you get picked, it all depends on what type of situation you walk in to.

"I remember being kind of nervous. Draft day was the worst day of my life. Not being picked until the third round, things didn't really happen the way I wanted them to happen, but I ended up coming to the organization that I wanted to come to, so when I got here it was all good."

Where were you on draft day?

"I was at home with my mom and my pop, my brothers, my sister, my niece and my nephew and we were just relaxing. We went through the whole process together. It felt like we were all being drafted that day. It's a crazy experience. It's a once-in-a-lifetime thing, and I'm happy I never have to go through it again."

What was your feeling when you heard your name called?

"I was excited. But like most people, you want to hear your name called earlier. But I was excited to hear my name called, especially by the Packers."

How did you find out you were being drafted by the Packers?

"The Packers called me and told me they were about to pick me. I was like, 'Cool, what took y'all so long?' They made the pick and I heard, 'With the 70th pick, the Green Bay Packers select Joey Thomas,' and I was relieved. I was like, 'At last I have a home.' Then you come in and I don't care what any rookie says, when you come in you're kind of nervous."


Donnell Washington

050414washington_a.jpg

Packers.com: What are your memories of the time leading up to the draft?

"For the most part, I was nervous because I didn't really know what to expect. Some teams had said I would get drafted here or there, but I didn't really have a good idea of where exactly I would go. I was kind of in a nervous state a little bit."

What were you doing on draft day?

"My family had a cookout at the house and everybody came over. I couldn't really enjoy the cookout because I was under so much pressure."

Was it a long day?

"That was the longest day on the face of the earth for me."

What was your feeling when you saw your name?

"I felt relieved and happy. Then I knew it was time to get to work."

How did you find out you were being drafted by the Packers?

"I found out by watching it on TV."

Did you receive a lot of phone call afterwards?

"I got a bunch of calls after that, but I couldn't really talk because I had to keep the line free so I could get the call from the coaches here. My family and friends were all calling, so I had to do some juggling, but it was alright."


Scott Wells

041212wells_a.jpg

Packers.com: What are your memories of the time leading up to the draft?

"You're under a lot of stress being in that situation. You're going from a secure scholarship to no security at all. You're hoping for the best and that everything you've done up to that point will pay off and will get you somewhere."

"Then you're glued to the TV during the draft waiting to hear your name and watching all the people have their names called. It's a very stressful time for everyone in that situation, but it pays off in the end."

Where did you watch the draft?

"I watched the draft at my house in Knoxville with my wife, my mom and my in-laws. We were all there. I watched it for the first day, and then the second day I went out and did something else. I just didn't want to deal with the stress."

Were you watching when your name was called?

"No, I was driving somewhere."

How did you find out you were being drafted by the Packers?

"My agent called me and told me. I was on my way to his office at that time and he called me and told me. When I got to his office, the Packers were on the phone with him."

"It's a stressful time on your body, your emotions, your spirit and everything. You just need a good support system with your family and friends."


Corey Williams

041019williams_c_a.jpg

Packers.com: What are your memories of the time leading up to the draft?

"I was real nervous. Anybody would be. If you think you've got a chance to be drafted or even being a free agent somewhere, you're going to be nervous. I was nervous. I was hoping to be drafted, but if I wouldn't have been drafted I still would have had the same attitude to go in and show the coaches what I could do to make a team. Those couple of days before the draft were very nerve-wracking."

Where did you watch the draft?

"I was at home in Arkansas. The first day of the draft I was with my family watching on TV. But then when I wasn't picked on the first day I just said 'forget it' and went fishing during the second day."

How did you find out you were being drafted by the Packers?

"My agent called me. Once I got that first phone call, I didn't stop getting calls out at the lake."

Was there a big crowd waiting for you when you returned hom from fishing?

"It was kind of laid back. Just me, my brothers, my sisters and a couple of my classmates. It was nice having them around for that time."

This article has been reproduced in a new format and may be missing content or contain faulty links. Please use the Contact Us link in our site footer to report an issue.

Related Content

Advertising