For the most part, the end of January marks the end of the signing period for any draft class. At that point, all-star games are over, combine prep for most players is a month old, and with a few exceptions — in this year’s case, Louisville QB Lamar Jackson and Alabama PT J.K. Scott — everyone going to the combine has representation.
That’s why the list of players signed to SRAs through the end of January provides an interesting snapshot of the draft class as seen by agents and the industry at large. Though the number of signees should still swell by at least 50 percent over the next couple months, and though there are still signed players out there that haven’t popped on the NFLPA’s master list, for the most part, the players that will be signed have been signed.
With that in mind, let’s take a look at the draft class so far.
- We counted 27 contract advisors this year with at least 10 signees in the ’18 draft class. They are Evan Brennan (29); Tyrone Barnes (27); James Krenis (25); Harold Lewis and Jimmy Sexton (tied at 18); James ‘Bus’ Cook (14); Derrick Fox and Andrew ‘Buddy’ Baker (each with 13); Ed Bailey (12) and Joel Segal (12 each); Jordan Byrd, Carter Chow, Rachel Dahlen, Craig Domann, Brian Levy, Brian Mackler, Justin Vititoe, Ed Wasielewski, Cameron Weiss and Don Yee, all with 11; and seven agents with 10 each: Patrick Collins, Pat Dye Jr., Todd France, Matthew Glose, David Rich, Justin VanFulpen and Robert Walker.
- While every year a subset of the new agent class takes Year 1 off, hoping to get an early jump on the coming class, two of the names on the above list are rookie agents. Both Atascadero, Calif.-based Dahlen of Brand Sports Management and Buffalo, N.Y.-based Glose of Priority Athletes took a ‘damn the torpedoes’ approach as new contract advisors and signed a healthy-sized class.
- Brennan and Krenis came out of nowhere to zoom to the top three through January. At the same time last year, each had six clients, while Barnes, last year’s leader, had 20.
- Krenis is especially of note given his willingness to go over, around and through to sign a player. We counted seven different SRA arrangements for Krenis, including signing two clients by himself. He shares the SRA with Brennan on 23 of his 25 signees.
- Rockville, Md.-based Scott Bergman had 14 last year through the end of January, and has been a regular leader in the client count over the past 3-4 years. This year, however, he has one signee as of the end of January.
It’s important to understand that simply signing a player doesn’t represent victory, and one could even argue that big classes are a significant negative. Very often, agents signing multiple players are simply trying to increase their odds of finding one who can make a roster. They often find that sizable draft classes are an albatross after the draft when totaling training costs and handling endless phone calls from undrafted and unsigned players asking, ‘what are you hearing?’
Still, taking inventory of SRAs signed, and who’s signing them, is one way to see how agents work, recruit and risk in the modern game.
For more on the 2018 signing class as well as everything else associated with the inside of the game, make sure to sign up for the Friday Wrap. It’s free, and read by nearly 100 members of the NFL scouting community each week, as well as dozens of agents and wealth managers who are wired into the game.