If you watched last night’s episode of ‘The Agent,’ you saw me have an uncomfortable conversation with Ed Wasielewski of Philadelphia-based EMG Sports (well, actually, two difficult conversations).
As Ed and I discussed his client, Houston DT Joey Mbu, he casually asked me where I saw him going. I gritted my teeth and told him sixth or seventh round. He countered that he expected him to go in the fourth. As the workout went on, Ed spoke to a Texans scout who had Mbu as an undrafted free agent. This meant Ed had to do the difficult chore of letting Mbu and his mother know there was a good chance no team would pick him on draft day. Which happened.
It made me wonder, what made Ed think Mbu was going fourth round? I had spoken to five scouts and all five had him as a bubble draftee and most likely a priority free agent. That’s not the kind of return Ed was seeking. Today, I had this text conversation with an agent who had kicked the tires on Mbu last year.
Agent: The trick is to know it before you sign the player. I knew Joey would sink, that is why I backed off.
Me: The question I have is, why did Ed think he was going fourth round? Who thought that?
Agent: Multiple scouts did. A lot of people I talked to said they liked the size and arm length. Sr. Bowl invite. And the school was selling him hard to NFL teams. I went against what I was hearing after multiple games and not seeing what I needed to out of the athlete. Some good scouts that I trust liked him early and off junior film.
Me: That really puzzles me. When I called around (scouts) crapped all over him. I guess it shows how quickly a star can fall.
Agent: What time of year was it you had talks?
Agent: Got you. My talks were in the summer and July and August. Also as you know people see guys very differently.
Ed didn’t make a mistake based on terrible information or lack of scouting contacts. It just goes to show that scouts are fallible, too, and often a prospect in December is a non-factor on draft day. It’s just one more reason this is such a volatile business with no guarantees.
Connor M said:
Neil to me it seemed like Ed was more hoping he could go in the fourth round. Those combine numbers were terrible and the pro day not much better. Did you think he would go undrafted and say 6-7th round because Ed was asking or did you really see a team grabbing him then?
I was hopeful he would be drafted late, but not sure if it would happen or not. There’s not a tremendous difference between being a 7th-rounder and being a priority free agent.