Dear No. 1 draft pick ... My advice to Jared Goff

When the Los Angeles Rams made Jared Goff the first overall pick of the 2016 NFL Draft, they put a ton of pressure on his young shoulders, making him the ostensible face of a franchise in transition. NFL Media analyst and former NFL quarterback David Carr can relate. After all, Carr was the No. 1 overall selection in 2002 by the then-expansion Houston Texans. As someone who's been through the wringer himself, Carr penned the open letter below to Goff.

Dear Mr. Goff,

Your life is about to go through enormous change, if it hasn't already. There are many things that come with being not only the No. 1 overall pick in the NFL draft, but the likely starting quarterback of a team dealing with a huge transition in moving from St. Louis to Los Angeles. There are many differences between my journey 14 years ago in Houston and the one you'll have soon in L.A., but I'd like to share some insight to help you adjust to your new role as a rookie quarterback in the National Football League.

My first piece of advice: Seek out veteran players and pick their brains. There's a reason those guys stick in the league for 10-plus years, and it's not just because they're more talented than others. I didn't immerse myself into in-depth football talk with the vets in Houston as much as I would've liked. It wasn't until I was with the New York Giants late in my career that I understood the importance of this. Alongside learning how your team and the NFL operates, you'll feel like one of the guys, rather than a separate piece, the untouchable new guy the draft builds you up to be. Having a good relationship with the guys in the locker room is absolutely essential to having success on the field, and it's something you can start working on Day 1.

Second, stay committed to your preparation, because there will be a lot of struggles early on. When I was going through the draft process, three-time Super Bowl champion Troy Aikman gave me some great advice. He said, "You're being picked first because your team isn't that good. But be sure you are ready when your team is ready." Although the Rams are better than the teams Troy and I were drafted to at the time, you must continue to stay focused and learn from the negatives. It will help you make great strides and prepare you to lead your team when making a playoff push.

Whether or not you start from Day 1, which is very likely, just know that everyone in the Rams facilities wants you to succeed. They all want what's best for you, so don't be afraid to speak up. If you aren't confident in what you're doing, no one else in the locker room will be. Remember, YOU need to be comfortable with what you're running from Mondays to Sundays.

And here's the cold, hard truth: Becoming a superstar overnight is a hard thing to deal with. You are going to be praised and criticized -- ignore both. Soaking in the praise will only lead to a possible slip in your mental or physical preparation. In the same breath, focusing on negative criticism will hinder your play and ability to lead your team. Make a conscious effort to stay focused, especially in Los Angeles -- the city where countless celebrities hit rock bottom, no matter how much money or fame they had. There are a lot of distractions, and a ton of people will suddenly pull at you. It's OK to say no. Frankly, you'll have to in this profession if you want a shot at having a successful career. Keep your inner circle tight and spend your time and energy on the things that are the most important to you.

OK, enough with the lecture. The biggest thing that I can share with you is this: Being a quarterback in the NFL is the best job in the world, but it's also probably the hardest thing you'll ever do. When I tell stories to my kids or friends, they look at me as if it's the most interesting thing they've ever heard. And when I think about it, it is pretty cool. That's about to be your everyday, man. You get to make the memories you fantasized about as a kid -- celebrating the big win, playing in front of tens of thousands of fans, being down in the fourth quarter with two minutes left on the clock, meeting and playing against your football idols.

This is your time to live your dream, and it doesn't last forever. Enjoy the journey and work hard so there won't be any regrets when you walk off the field.

Good luck, kid. I'm pulling for you.

David Carr

Follow David Carr on Twitter @DCarr8.

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