Obviously we’re in an unprecedented time. Here are a few observations on how the football world is shifting to accommodate the coronavirus situation, and how we’re trying to be a small part of the solution.
- It looked bad for open venues this week, so we moved several up in an attempt to stay ahead of the closings. As a result, we were able to get two in on Tuesday in Dallas and one in Tampa, thanks to former NFL evaluators Bob Morris (Browns, 49ers) and Richard Shelton (Titans). Bob handled things in Dallas and Richard in Tampa. Unfortunately, our instincts were correct. We had a workout in New Orleans slated for today, but the venue was shuttered on Thursday. We’re hoping two pro days we have scheduled for today in Atlanta go off without a hitch (ex-Raiders scout Von Hutchins and Mike Hagen, last with the Chiefs, are calling the shots there).
- Because we’ve brought in former NFL personnel to run these pro days — sort of serving as a ‘proctor’ for the big exams — we’ve gotten good feedback from NFL teams. Contacts with two teams have asked for all the numbers from our scouts’ pro days, and we’ve been happy to oblige. Meanwhile, our RT of a Twitter post on another player drew an immediate response from a director-level scout with another team. If you’re a player or agent, don’t think for a minute that teams aren’t working overtime to make the best of these strange circumstances.
- We’re pretty excited about the response we’ve gotten on our Google Form that will supplement the work the APT Coalition (the consortium of NFL scouts that shares pro day information during a normal March) normally does. We’ve gotten more than 300 players’ information so far with about 48 hours to go before we pull the plug and ship it out to all 32 teams. “Through your help, I’m down to 27 players that I need draft info for,” said one scout that we’ve been trying to help with player, agent and college contacts. We’re hoping that after this weekend, those remaining 27 players’ contacts (and their agents, of course) are in his notebook.
- One note about that Google form: a handful of agents included their contact info but not their players’ contacts. While we understand that they represent the players, scouts are not going to want to have to go through a third party to collect simple information about draft prospects over the next month before the draft. We’ve removed all entries that omitted players’ info, but not to worry: we’ll send out the form one last time this evening.
- Of course, if you’d like to update things immediately, we also sent out the link to all NFLPA-licensed contract advisors last Friday at 6:30 p.m., Monday at 6 a.m. and Wednesday at 6 a.m. (all times central). The link is somewhere in your inbox if you’re a licensed agent, so check your trash.
- We’re hoping to be part of a national solution to the lack of pro days in mid-April. We’re working on a project that, hopefully, can bring a neutral, professionally run local workout to hundreds of players. Fingers crossed, of course, that we’ll have open venues and some return to normalcy by Easter.
That’s all we have so far. Hopefully, we’re still moving in the right direction. For more on how “the new normal” is affecting the data-gathering process and how teams are adapting, check out today’s Friday Wrap. You can register for it here.