Pete Carroll Details How NIL In College Football Has Direct Impact On NFL Draft Process And Player Evaluation

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With the 2023 NFL Draft just one week away, Pete Carroll is gearing up for his 14th year in the Seattle war room. The 71-year-old head coach and the Seattle Seahawks will pick 20th overall with prominent needs at linebacker, defensive tackle, running back, receiver and center.

Regardless of who the organization ends up drafting, Carroll is prepared to keep adapting to a new era.

Pete Carroll sees NIL changing the NFL. (Photo by Justin Casterline/Getty Images)

When the NCAA implemented its new rules on Name, Image and Likeness in July of 2021, it changed the entire landscape of collegiate athletics forever. In doing so, it also changed the NFL.

That notion goes particularly unacknowledged— NIL has also had a direct impact on the NFL.

Carroll, who once coached on the college level and led one of the most dominant, flashiest programs in history, has seen the sport change over the years. He has seen how the ability for athletes to profit, legally, while in school has changed the NFL Draft process and recently spoke to the new reality during a pre-draft press conference on Wednesday.

It’s like free agency going on in college football. These kids have choices and they’re figuring it out, and here’s a whole young kind of evolution occurring here, and they’re early in it but they’re exposed differently, so we’re seeing guys a little bit differently. We have to continue to adapt as the times change, and that’s what we’ve been doing.

— Pete Carroll

Carroll is not going to draw a larger conclusion. NIL has only been a thing for less than two years.

With that said, Pete Carroll feels the change.

They’re getting paid. I think they can’t help but be affected by that. It’s a different world. They don’t have to stay at their schools anymore. They can go wherever they want. I think it changes the guys. It changes their mentality. I don’t know what the results of it’s going to be because it’s only a couple years old right now, but it’s evolving now, and we’re going to see, I think, some changes. Coaches in college are constantly recruiting not just people from the outside but their own guys because their own guys can leave. It just shifts somewhat of the dynamics of it.

— Pete Carroll

Money has always played a role in college football. Even when Carroll was at USC.

That continues to be the case today, but on an inflated level. Athletes that may have been paid a few thousand dollars under-the-table before are making NFL-like money over-the-table today.

For a guy to come in here and make a million dollars a year, some guys have been making a million dollars a year already, so it’s a little different than it’s been in that regard. I don’t know what the result of it’s been, but it’s having an effect.

— Pete Carroll

The fallout (for lack of better word) when it comes to NIL and its effect on top NFL prospects will only continue to unfold over the coming years. This is still the infancy stage.

What is clear, though, is that the ability for athletes to make money in college is changing how they approach the NFL Draft. In turn, it has forced NFL organizations to change their approach as well.

Written by Grayson Weir

Grayson doesn't drink coffee. He wakes up Jacked.

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