Less than a week ago, all Kyle Newhall-Caballero wanted was a chance to prove he could play in the NFL.
The former Gilbert quarterback finished up his second day of Organized Team Activites on Thursday with the Oakland Raiders, taking snaps alongside the famous signal-calling triumvirate of Carson Palmer, Matt Leinart and Terrelle Pryor.
“I was in limbo there for awhile, treading water after the draft, hoping I’d get a phone call,” he said.
It came on Sunday, with Oakland offering him a tryout the following day.
Newhall-Caballero quickly boarded a flight for Calif. and made enough of an impression that the Raiders signed him as their fourth quarterback. He’s currently staying at the Hilton Oakland Airport Hotel, practicing during the day and immersing himself in the playbook at night.
“It has been a whirlwind,” Newhall-Caballero said. “The first time I got out there was eye-opening, but now I’m just trying to pick up things as fast as I can. I’m trying to get to the point where I can play alongside these guys. I know I can do it, physically, but I have to get there mentally.”
Newhall-Caballero said the NFL was far from his mind as he rode the bench in his first two years at Brown. But he threw for a combined 5,065 yards and 36 touchdowns and earned all-Ivy League honors in his final two seasons to get on the NFL radar.
Oakland never showed much interest leading up to the draft, so Newhall-Caballero was surprised when he was asked to try out. He was so rushed that he only brought one change of clothes to Oakland, and has been wearing team-issued shirts out to dinner because he has nothing else with him.
He finally took a moment to reflect on Thursday after a frenetic few days.
“It’s refreshing to look back and see all your hard work and dedication wasn’t for nothing,” he said. “Now I can say I’ve made it to this point, but I want to continue moving up from here. I don’t want this to be the peak. I want to be a damn good football player.”