MONTERREY, MEXICO — The next Mexican in the NFL could be a 6-foot-4 tight end with soft hands, slow feet and braces on his teeth.
But Daniel Roldan, a fifth-year player at Monterrey Tech, Mexico's top football school, isn't making plans just yet.
"I think we need more time," says Roldan, who has already auditioned twice for NFL scouts and expects to be invited back for another tryout early next year.
The knock on Roldan, the NFL says, is that he's too slow to be a wideout and, at 220 pounds, too light to be a tight end. But as Mexican football gets more sophisticated about its training and conditioning, those arguments won't hold much longer.
"Before, there weren't any big players," Roldan says. "Now there are kids 15, 16 who are as big as us. That's going to help. The future of Mexican football is very good."