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Tonight I’ll be speaking to parents of 2015 NFL draft hopefuls at a Houston-area hotel on behalf of a client in the financial planning industry. We’ll talk about the entire draft process from A-Z and answer any questions they have. Hopefully I’ll pass along a few things they hadn’t thought of, and they’ll be bold enough to ask questions if there are things I miss.

Usually when I address parents, I want to throw the kitchen sink at them. I want them to leave with every detail, to know things they never even thought about knowing, but tonight I’m taking a different approach. I’ve pretty much condensed things down to the bare minimum. I’m hoping this will give them more takeaways that they can actually use versus just bombarding them with knowledge so I can show what an authority I am.

If you’re in Houston, I hope you’ll join us tonight at 7 p.m. at the Houston Marriott Westchase (email me for more details or leave a comment here). It’s free, of course. If you’re not, here’s the SUPER-condensed version.

  • There is no ‘magic list.’ There are probably 500 players that every NFL team knows inside and out, and who will be given serious consideration in next spring’s draft. However, every year there are more players — it’s hard to put a number on how many — that only a few teams even know about, yet they wind up making NFL rosters. I’m not saying these guys wind up as future all-pros, but some have nice NFL careers. The point is, this is an inexact science.
  • No agent can get you drafted. I don’t care what they say when they’re recruiting you. I don’t care how long they’ve been in the business, or how many NFL clients they have, or how popular they are on Google, or whatever. An agent can help you along the process, and maybe with the right connections he can get a player signed as an undrafted free agent who might not otherwise have gotten that invite, but no one can turn a seventh-rounder into a first-rounder, or a non-draftee into a fifth-rounder. No amount of experience, or promotion, or combine training can do that.
  • If you want to improve your chances of making an NFL team, work on your speed and athleticism. Every year, I get agents who brag on how many reps their clients can do, and how strong they’ve gotten in combine prep. The thing is, that’s something they can do after the draft. NFL teams are seeking explosive players. They want players who can run faster, jump higher, and push past the other guy. Violently. The players that show they can do that consistently at the combine or their pro day wind up going from a late-rounder to a mid-rounder or from undrafted to drafted.