Episode 8 of ‘The Agent’ is tonight (10E/9C). The show covers the first three rounds of this year’s draft, and have plenty of intrigue and behind-the-scenes pageantry and byplay.

Here are three things I thought worth noting.

  • The players spotlighted tonight all have major family parties complete with guests, food, and people crowded around a TV set. This is very common, very tempting, and in my mind, a big mistake. The draft is an incredibly vexing and unpredictable event. You’ll notice that the agents don’t attend any of these events, and there’s an obvious reason why: they don’t want to be the focus of everyone’s ire if (when?) things go wrong. If you’re like me, you’re going to be especially sympathetic with Kentucky DT Za’Darius Smith, who winds up getting pursued by an irritable broadcaster that absolutely insists his selection is imminent . . . until the picks pass by and it’s not. Smith is a really patient and engaging young man before he finally hides from the guy.
  • One note on the sports media: when I worked in newspapers, we would occasionally get phone calls from people that wanted to settle a bet. I remember, in ’95 or ’96, I was working at a paper in Lubbock and some guy called, asking us who the best QB of all time was (my vote went to Marino; everyone else said Montana). The point is, there’s some perception that sports writers/reporters/etc. know more than the rank-and-file fan. These days, I’m not sure that’s true. They may have a few more connections, and may have some insights they don’t share with readers, but for the most part, the wide variety of information sources and deeper analysis means fans don’t have to take a backseat to media these days. The guy who keeps bugging Smith is pretty much Exhibit A.
  • One more note on the media: often during the run-up to the draft, you’ll hear that a certain player interviewed with 7-8 teams at the combine. This is always spun as the teams that have the most interest in the player. That’s not true. It’s often the teams that have the least interest in the player, because they didn’t even get basic interviews done during the draft process; they’re just covering their bases, nothing more. This manifests itself tonight when the agents list the teams they expect to draft their clients. In most cases, they’re dead wrong. Teams have become quite adept at hiding their true intents, and often, the teams an agent lists as having the most interest are actually the teams where the agent has the most contacts. He’s talked up his clients with his buddies on those teams, and therefore, he feels his client has an excellent chance with them. But really, it means nothing. Watch for this tonight.

Make sure to join me for more insights tonight on the ITL live-tweet.