Old man Jarryd Hayne, in what might be characterised as a show of support for fellow rugby coders Jason Taumalolo and Valentine Holmes, but then again might be characterised as something altogether different, mentioned that they have an advantage he lacked in the pursuit of an NFL career. They are several years his junior.
Having attained the ripe old age of 28 during his quest to catch on with the San Francisco 49ers, Hayne feels that at Holmes’ age of 21 and Taumalolo at 23, gives them time to learn the game, a luxury not available to Hayne.
If anyone is interested in the reality of the situation, here it is.
Hayne, Holmes and Taumalolo are unquestionably gifted athletes. They are powerful, speedy, and blessed with the valuable ability to react instinctively when the need arises.
Yet, there is one factor that weighs against all their talent. That factor is experience. They will be competing for jobs in an NFL where there are 1,696 jobs. Further, reducing that number to positions suitable to Holmes and Taumalolo, perhaps running back, tight end or linebacker, means that realistically, they are potentially trying for one of approximately 680 jobs.
There are literally thousands of American footballers who have done nothing for the past 10 years of their lives other than prepare to play one of the positions Holmes and Taumalolo hope to gain.
Many of those thousands are on the radars of NFL scouting squads in the event their team needs an emergency replacement on short notice and more than a few of them are on the practice squads of NFL teams for just such a contingency.