I know, I know. We didn’t publish a war story on Wednesday. I’m gonna try to roll one out on Friday. For today, we’re trying something new.

Periodically over the next few weeks, I’m going to use this space to spotlight players I know that aren’t getting a lot of looks from agents but who should. I’m going to be frank about their ‘bruises’ but I’m also going to tout their positives. My goal is to attract attention from agents — if you’re interested, email me at nstratton@insidetheleague.com and I’ll make the introduction — but also to express that there are talented players out there that don’t get attention, for whatever reason. Today, we’re introducing New Mexico OL Lamar Bratton.

First, the negatives.

  • The obvious drawback is his listed height of 6-0; that usually means a player is more like 5-10 1/2, though maybe I’m wrong. In the NFL, bigger is almost always better.
  • It’s also not a positive that the Lobos have struggled the last few years; scouts just seem to downgrade players from teams that lack success (thought I don’t know why).
  • Finally, players in the Southwest often get overlooked or downgraded simply because they’re harder to get to. It’s way easier to scout Florida or Louisiana or Dallas where there are dozens of schools within an easy drive.

For all these reasons, it may take a little more pushing to get a player like Lamar real attention and a good shot at a late-round selection or PFA invitation. Now for the positives.

  • Though I haven’t seen Lamar on film or talked to any scouts about him, it would be hard to argue that he can’t play. Since redshirting his true freshman year (as virtually all college offensive linemen do), he’s started every game the Lobos have played since, all 37 of them. He was Honorable Mention All-MWC his junior year (as a guard) and First-Team All-MWC (at center) as a senior. He’s a team captain, and he’s had to keep the team together through multiple transitions (and been recognized for his leadership). This is the kind of player who may not look good on the draft board, but who some team could easily fall in love with.
  • I can tell Lamar is going to be the kind of kid an agent falls in love with, too. Half the battle to be successful in this business is making it to the top and still enjoying what you do. High-maintenance, ungrateful clients are soul-killers, even if they’re making you money. Unless I’m dead wrong about Lamar, that’s not at all who he is. He’s gonna be the kind of guy you want to adopt.
  • Lamar has seen all kinds of offenses, from the spread/no-huddle to a grind-it-out, ball-control offense preferred by head coach Bob Davie. He also has played extensively at two positions, guard and center.

Right now, Lamar has asked me to help him find representation, and I’m just trying to put good people with a good young man. I know that players in the Southwest often get very few feelers from agents due to their remote location. To me, he’s worth strong consideration to a good agent who hasn’t already signed another center/guard.

If you’re an ITL client, and you’re interested, let me know. If you’re not an ITL client, go here first, then gimme a holler.