Leap From Europe To NFL - Can It Be Done?

Photo: Patrick Emerson

If you're coming from The States - after finishing college - your dream is to play in the NFL, or CFL, right? However, sometimes things don't go according to plan. What are the options when Plan A doesn’t pan out? You could continue pursuing your dreams in the Arena Football League or try to go semi-pro. Or you could head overseas!

Europe is still holding the #1 spot for the "next best thing", although Brazil and China are catching up. We don't hear much about Japan, as it is very hard to get in. But let's focus on Europe.

There are numerous examples of North American players coming to Europe, even after the NFL - Tony Simmons (2nd round pick, New England), Sean Embree (Denver Broncos), Reuben Droughns (Denver Broncos, NY Giants), just to name a few..

But, there are also some fresh new faces on the scene as well.

The Belgrade Wolves signed quarterback Lewis Kindle for their 2017 season. The Wolves are on the hunt to get their titles back – both in the domestic league and the CEFL (Central European League). Kindle comes from North Carolina AT&T University, and while he may not have gotten the call from the NFL, he should be a great addition to Belgrade and his career can definitely go up from here.

Kindle’s accuracy showed improvement every year at North Carolina AT&T. It went from 51.9% in his first year all the way to 58.3% in his fourth and final season. He was also able to throw downfield more as he got older, upping his yards per attempt from 4.6 as a freshman to 7.3 as a senior. Hopefully he’ll be able to keep getting better as he ages in Europe.

Kindle isn’t likely to ever reach the ultimate dream of playing in the NFL and if you ask most of the veteran imports who have spent 5+ years overseas whether it is possible to go from Europe to the NFL, most would say “No.”

But there’s always a chance

As the quality of play in the CEFL improves (which it will continue to do with imports like Kindle making the jump), the chances will improve.

Plus, picking the right organizations and leagues overseas can only help raise your chances, and Kindle picked a good one in Belgrade.