Leading up to the NFL Draft, current and former Steelers’ players will be sharing their Draft Day Memories. In this installment, Tyler Matakevich shared his story of being drafted in the seventh round by the Steelers in 2016.
“I had no idea what was going to happen on draft day. As the draft goes on you get a little more stressed. For me I was one of the last 10 selected so it was definitely stressful. I was willing to go to whatever team gave me the chance. I would give them whatever I had and make them realize it’s the best decision they made. That was the mentality that I had and I told Coach (Mike) Tomlin that.
“It was unbearable, though, waiting. It was the worst thing. There were some family and friends there and everyone was talking. You see friends taken. It’s getting later and later. You hope something happens, you get the call. I was so happy when it happened. I couldn’t be happier with where I am today.
“I had people there and it didn’t help I live on a main road and people saw cars, people in the yard and stopped. There were a lot there and it kept growing.
“The worst past was toward the end of the draft, in the later rounds, people start calling you about free agency. My phone started to ring a lot in the sixth round, teams talking about free agency. It would go off and people would get excited. Once you talk about that, you want to get drafted, you had high hopes. But even of you don’t it’s unbelievable. But when you are a little kid you want to hear your name called at the draft. I thought I was going to be a free agent, but then I got that phone call from Coach Tomlin.
“Getting that call on draft day, it’s unbelievable. It truly is. It was one of the most special days of my life. Hearing Coach Tomlin’s voice when he first says, ‘This is Coach Tomlin from the Steelers’, you freeze up. That was one of the best days of my life.”