There’s less than two weeks until the draft. If you’re reading this, there’s a great chance you’re an agent, and an even-money chance you’re puling out your hair. It’s a crazy time. Here are a few thoughts that might help you preserve your sanity.
- Your clients may be panicking because nobody is talking about them in the media. The thing you have to remind them is that the draft media is really only interested in the top 30-40 picks. Unless your client believes he’s a first-rounder — I mean, really believes it, not some total pie-in-the-sky wish — no one on Draft Twitter, the NFL Network, or whatever is going to talk about them, and they shouldn’t expect it.
- When a “league source” is cited on Twitter, it’s always (every single time) an agent. Every time you hear about a team conducting a private workout with a low-ranked player, or inviting in a lesser name for a Top 30 visit, it’s because an agent called his buddy in the media to give his client some buzz. The irony is that often an agent will give a writer a tip on his client, then immediately call his client and tell him about the ‘buzz’ the kid is generating. Bottom line, there aren’t scouts working out players, then immediately calling the media to brag on the sleeper they’ve found.
- For my next point, a quick story. I made it into the Naval Academy out of a small town in West Virginia to great fanfare (at least around the Stratton household). Four years later, I’d failed out in grand fashion. I remember coming home on a rainy day in June 1991 hoping to lick my wounds a bit. Instead, my parents were loving, but hurt, embarrassed and scared. I realized I would have to be the strong one. There’s a great chance your client is going to have to be strong when his parents are demanding answers from you on why he’s not getting phone calls, why he’s not getting workouts, and the like. Communicating that to him might not be easy, but if you can get that point across, your life will be a lot easier.
- There is no league-accepted clearinghouse for draft rankings. Your guy is probably Googling NFL Draft Scout (the closest there is) every day, but whatever he finds doesn’t really matter. If your guy isn’t rated in the top 200 players, there is no earthly way that a team knows when, or if, he’ll be drafted or signed. There are too many players that will fall on draft day, and others that will rise, that will create chaos in undrafted free agency. I know that’s not what anyone wants to hear, but tis true.
- If at this point you’re not hearing from teams, start thinking CFL. Right now, even if your client isn’t draft-worthy, teams should be calling to persuade you to send your client to them in free agency. If that’s not happening, it’s OK, but it’s probably time to start walking back expectations.
- Remember, it’s a relationship-based business, so it pays to know the alma maters of scouts and coaches. We’ve already done the work for you on scouts, and today, we posted colleges of active NFL coaches, from head coach all the way down to quality control. Coaches are becoming a bigger and bigger part of the selection process. this info might come in handy in conjunction with our email frames. Just a hint.
Try to stay sane over the next two weeks. It won’t be easy. Good luck.