I know it’s Friday, but let’s set that aside today to look at some research I did on Wednesday into the players from the ’15 draft class who made it into NFL camps (as draftees, undrafted free agent signees or tryout players).
Each year, lots of players sign standard representation agreements (SRA) with agents, but that’s no guarantee a player will be drafted, or even signed as undrafted free agents. In fact, well over half of the players at most positions will not make a roster despite signing an SRA.
Here’s a grid I developed that breaks down the number of players, by position, that made it into NFL camps this year.
|Pos||% in camp||SRA|
The first five positions in the poll are all related to the offensive or defensive line, plus the current ‘glam’ position, tight end. In short, everyone’s looking for big-bodied players that can move a little.
Here’s something else the grid shows. There were 308 wide receivers signed by agents last year. That’s almost as many as the total number of tackles (112), guards (111), centers (55) and long-snappers (33) that were signed (311).
The takeaway I got from this breakdown is that big guys are always more valuable to NFL teams than the guys that score touchdowns. You can probably extend that logic to say that touchdown-scorers depend greatly on the guys that are making space for them, and that stopping the ball-carrier depends on having guys that can counter your o-line.
No matter what NFL teams say, it seems clear that the old cliche is true: it all starts up front.