SE: Mueller Continues Working Towards NFL Dream
Former K-State defensive end Ryan Mueller is trying his hand at the NFL one more time.
The 2013 Big 12 Defensive Lineman of the Year signed with the San Diego Chargers after his senior season at K-State (2014), and he spent a majority of the 2015 season on the Chargers’ practice squad before being released from the team in November.
While getting let go wasn’t easy, Mueller is not giving up and showed off for NFL scouts at K-State’s Pro Day earlier this month.
Listed at 6-foot-2 and 250 pounds, Mueller feels this year, with nearly an entire season of NFL experience under his belt, he is at an advantage as he’s much further ahead today than he was a year ago.
“I’m completely healthy, and I’m bigger, faster and stronger than I was a year prior,” explained Mueller after the Pro Day workout. “My resume is a bit more beefed up: I made the roster, survived all the cuts, and I have a great preseason film with a lot of snaps and a lot of playmaking ability. Hopefully I can get a chance with another team.”
Mueller said after he was released he had visits with the Indianapolis Colts and the New York Jets. He said he’s also had opportunities to play with the Canadian Football League, but that isn’t quite where his heart is set.
“For me, since I had the chance to play in the NFL, it’s NFL or die,” continued Mueller. “I’m going to chase the dream. That’s why I wanted to do Pro Day again; I wanted to show that I’m in better shape than I was in last year, that I’m even more hungry and healthy.”
At Pro Day, Mueller said he ran his first 40-yard dash in 4.8 seconds, then he was clocked at about “a 4.69 or 4.71” in his second try. He said, across the board, he felt comfortable and well prepared for what can be a stressful day for some.
“I’ve worked out before NFL scouts multiple times now, so this turn was a lot easier, a lot less stressful and I knew what to expect,” said Mueller. “I think I showed a lot more maturity and growth; I PR’d in all my agilities and weights, and that just came with training extra hard and (having) confidence.”
Along with earning 2013 Big 12 Defensive Lineman of the Year honors after a stellar junior season where he tied the school record for single-season sacks with 11.5, Mueller was named a First Team All-Big 12 performer as a senior and finished his career tied for fifth in school history with 20.5 career sacks.
One Bill Snyder’s greatest walk-on-turned-success stories, Mueller was named a team captain his senior season and, overall, was a 26-game starter for the Cats as he helped K-State to a 38-14 combined record in his four years on the field, including a Big 12-best 27-9 conference record.
While he isn’t completely sure what his future in football holds, Mueller knows if he holds true to the values he learned during his time with the K-State football program, things will work out in the end.
“It’s the blue-collar work ethic here; how hard we worked in college compared to the NFL, it’s a night and day difference,” Mueller explained as he looked back at his time at K-State. “Every NFL organization is different, some of them are run like colleges, some of them are run like a job and you do what you need to do. Some guys crumble and fold under that because they don’t have the structure or the discipline that college develops, and, as you know, Coach Snyder doesn’t take anything from anybody. Nobody is bigger than the program.
“He runs a tight ship here, runs you into the ground and pushes you,” Mueller continued. “He gets absolutely everything out of you, and that work ethic and those values are very, very important if you want to be a player in the NFL.”