In May of 2002, Dion Johnson, then 23 years old, had an audition with the Chicago Bears in pursuit of an NFL career.
But that night, while travelling in Detroit, he was struck by a stray bullet, which left him paralysed. Two years later, he succumbed to his injuries.
"I feel as though my father is watching over me," said Johnson, who is now 23 years old.
"He understands what is best for me. I will simply labour diligently and leave the rest to God.
"I feel extremely fortunate to have been drafted by the Rams."
Johnson, who was only four years old when his father passed away, went on to play collegiate football at Toledo in Ohio for five seasons before entering this year's draught.
The Houston Texans had the 259th and final selection, but they traded it to the Los Angeles Rams in the fifth round.