You follow the game, so you know that Thursday the NFL announced the names of the 338 players invited to the combine later this month. As always, there were a few surprises and a some big-name snubs, plus a few interesting trends that we observed.
Here are five thoughts on the combine list from a football business point of view.
- The agency with the most clients at Indianapolis? It’s Irvine, Calif.-based Athletes First with 25. Coming in second are two firms with 24 each: Nashville-based CAA and New York City-based Sportstars. Philadelphia-based Octagon Football and Los Angeles-based Wasserman Sports each tied for third with 15 each. For what it’s worth, there are two players (Oklahoma’s Kyler Murray and Washington State’s James Williams) for whom we have no agent listed, so these totals aren’t written in stone.
- One thing not widely known about the combine is that the number of players at each position changes with each class. For example, it’s mildly surprising that this year, only 17 quarterbacks were invited (and we’re still not certain Murray will play football). Last season, 19 quarterbacks were invited. In 2017, only 15 came to Indianapolis, while there were 19 passers in 2016 and just 15 in 2015.
- Here’s a handful of players that were the next ones on the list for invites (it will be interesting to see how many of them are drafted before those who did get invites): Auburn OB Darrell Williams, Cincinnati DT Cortez Broughton, Maryland IB Tre Watson, Ohio WO Sefuan White and Nevada OB Malik Reed.
- In all 936 seniors were part of the voting process before they were whittled down to around 250 for the first wave of invites. Some made the cut as part of the second wave.
- Of the 936 players submitted to voters, 251 received no votes from any of the 32 teams and another 123 got just one. What’s more, 529 players got five votes or less. That seems to indicate that there’s pretty wide acceptance of which players are draftable, though opinions may vary on what order and which ones are at the top vs. the bottom.
We take a longer look at the combine list as compared to previous classes (plus other things we found interesting) in today’s Friday Wrap. As you know, it’s completely free and read by about 5,000 people from all walks of the football business. Here’s last week’s edition.
If you’re interested enough in “the game behind the game” to read our blog, you’ll find our weekly newsletter interesting, as well. Sign up for it here.