Landon Collins arrived in Chicago for the 2015 NFL draft with the expectation that when he left the Windy City, his NFL dream would have come true.

That dream is still likely to come true, but not during his stay in Chicago. Collins, Alabama’s All-American safety and Thorpe Award finalist, was left undrafted through the first round of the draft Thursday night, a surprise to a player who was pegged by many as a first-round selection throughout the pre-draft process.

Upon not being selected, Collins left Chicago to return home to New Orleans with his mother, who’d joined him for Thursday night’s opening round. Collins had planned to attend a post-draft party in his honor in downtown Chicago, celebrating his first-round selection and the beginning of his NFL career; he certainly never considered having to wait another day until the second round commenced to hear his name called.

“No I never considered that,” Collins told USA TODAY Sports when asked about potentially being left out of the first round.

His mother echoed those sentiments.

“Oh no,” she told USA TODAY Sports in the hours leading up to the draft. “That hasn’t entered my mind. He’s going to get picked. He’s going to get out of there today. When we put it in the Lord’s hands, it happens.”

But Collins was not picked after all. His Chicago draft plans derailed, he was openly disappointed but took the adversity in stride, sharing a series of tweets supporting teammate Amari Cooper (taken No. 4 overall by Oakland) and the other first-round draftees Thursday night, while also expressing his motivation and the positive spin he’s putting on his draft-day plummet.

Collins won’t be the first safety drafted this year, another accomplishment he expected to have locked up in the hours leading up to the draft. That honor goes to Damarious Randall, taken No. 30 on Thursday by the Green Bay Packers, a team that already employs Collins’ former Alabama teammate Ha Ha Clinton-Dix.

Nevertheless, it’s expected once again that he’ll come off the board early when the draft resumes with the second round Friday night. His favorite team as a child, the Washington Redskins, a team in need of reinforcements in the secondary, could take him with sixth pick of the night. He’d then have the opportunity to fill the shoes of childhood hero and former Redskins’ safety Sean Taylor, who passed away in 2007 in his fourth year in the league.

There are also a number of other landing spots for Collins early in the draft outside of Washington. None of them will undo the fact that he’s not a first-round pick. But per his tweets, they won’t derail what he still expects to be a successful NFL career.