This week, we looked at all the players signed with agents for the 2020 NFL Draft, the number drafted and the total of undrafted free agents, all sorted by position. It’s here (pay link, sorry).
We’ve done this for the past six years, and it provides an interesting snapshot of the positions most in demand by NFL teams. If you’re just passing through for a look at the top mock drafts or a ranking of NFL GMs, I apologize in advance. Today is for agents, active and aspiring. I think it gives insights into who they should be recruiting in the modern game.
- As usual, there were more wide receivers signed by agents (244) than any other position. It stands to reason; receivers are plentiful as well as popular in a pro game that’s committed to the pass. What’s more, their numbers are easy to track. On the other hand, receivers’ draft rate is annually around 10 percent, one of the lowest “hit rates” of all the positions. This year’s draft rate was highest ever at just under 15 percent, owing to the talent in the class, though the total number of signees was well below recent classes.
- More on wide receivers: In the six years we’ve been tracking the numbers, this year’s total number of pass-catchers signed to SRAs is the lowest ever. The high-water mark? It was 2016, when 313 receivers signed with agents. We may never see that total again.
- A cornerback’s plight is very similar to a wide receiver’s, i.e., lots and lots of them sign with agents, but opportunities are limited. Agents signed 190 corners, but only 28 were drafted and 53 signed as undrafted free agents. In total, 109 cornerbacks (more than half of all who were signed) are on the street mere weeks after draft day. In short, if you’re an agent and you want to maximize your chances on draft weekend, focus on the big slow guys and less on the sleek, sexy guys.
- Though it’s not sexy, our numbers show, again, that it all starts up front. At only four positions — tight end, guard, tackle and defensive tackle — did better than half of all players signed to standard representation agreements get either drafted or signed as undrafted free agents.
- Similarly, only four positions — center, guard, tackle and outside linebacker — saw more than 20 percent of all signees selected in the draft. The offensive line isn’t sexy, but if you’re an agent, that’s where the money is.
- On the other hand, the most popular position immediately following the draft is tight end. A higher percentage of tight ends — just under 39 percent — signed post-draft than did players at any other position. Only two other positions (fullbacks and defensive tackles) signed UDFA contracts at a rate north of 30 percent.
- it was a tough year to go undrafted. This year, 421 players signed UDFA deals. Last year, 497 signed, while another 522 players attended at least one rookie mini-camp on a tryout basis. With no rookie mini-camps this year, it doesn’t look like any players will get tryout opportunities this year.
To look at all the numbers this year (and since 2015), click here. For a review of what happened in the football business this week, click here. Thank you, as always, for reading.