Why College Football All-Star Games Matter

By Justin VanFulpen

One of the biggest things in the pre-draft process is the different all-star games.  I have had the opportunity to be involved with 6 College Football all-star games.  Five Texas vs. the Nation games and as well as the Player All-Star Classic in 2012, mainly working with the player personnel but also having other duties.

At the NFL Combine in 2016, former NFL GM Ray Farmer said about All-Star Games.

“I put more stock in that then combine stuff, the reason I do that, it’s ball… All-Star Games matter because it is good on good.”  

College football all-star games are about giving players an opportunity to show their skills in front of NFL scouts. In this environment where player come from all levels of competition the NFL scouts are evaluating not only the one-on-one and team practices but how fast can a player picks up the offense or defense that is being installed since everything is done within that game week.

Small school prospects that get into one of the major all-star games have a great ability to help themselves in the draft process because it shows scouts that the level of competition is not too high for them since that will be one of the biggest questions mark for that prospect to answer.

In this years Senior Bowl the game had 10 first round draft picks and 93 overall and saw QB Daniel Jones, Duke who was the game MVP, helped himself be the number overall six pick by the New York Giants.

In the 2018 Senior Bowl QB Baker Mayfield and Josh Allen both played in the game and both helped their stock and both end up in the top 10 in the NFL Draft.

QB Carson Wentz from North Dakota State who end up as the number two pick overall by the Philadelphia Eagles raised his draft stock from his week of practice at the Senior Bowl.  OT Eric Fisher from Central Michigan in 2013 went from a late first round pick to the number one overall pick in the NFL Draft after his week at the Senior Bowl.

Players who are Seniors can get an idea of what the NFL think about them based on what all-star game the get invited to and not getting invited to a game says a lot because the directors of all-star games are talking with scouts to see who they want to see in a game. True going to the Senior Bowl doesn’t mean you are getting drafted in the first round but it can help your draft stock if you have a good week at any of the all-star games.

But it is not just about the Senior Bowl, all the All-Star games matter, the East West Shrine game, the NFLPA Bowl, Tropic Bowl, College Gridiron Show, etc. All-Star games are the second most import thing in the draft evaluation process after the prospects season film evaluation.

2019 NFL Draft: Conference Breakdown

Overall Picks:

SEC: 64
Big Ten: 40
Pac-12: 33
ACC: 28
Big 12: 26
American: 11
Mount West: 10
MAC: 9
Independent FBS: 8
C-USA: 6
CAA: 3
MVFC: 3
MEAC: 2
OVC: 2
SWAC: 2
Sun Belt: 1
Big Sky: 1
GSC: 1
LSC: 1
MEC: 1
MIAA: 1
NSIC: 1

By 1st round picks:

SEC: 9
Big 10: 7
ACC: 7
Pac-12: 3
Big-12: 3
American: 1
Independent: 1
SWAC: 1

Full breakdown:

Conf1234567Total
SEC913671010964
Big Ten727785440
Pac-12353673633
ACC723455228
Big 12335623426
AAC121211311
MW013003310
MAC02110509
Ind. (FBS)11220118
C-USA00400116
CAA01000113
MVFC00101013
MEAC00000022
OVC00100102
SWAC10000012
Sun Belt00000101
Big Sky00000011
GSC00000011
LSC00001001
MEC00010001
MIAA00000101
NSIC00100001

2019 NFL Draft: Senior vs Underclassmen Break-Down

By Justin VanFulpen

Here is the breakdown for the 2019 NFL Draft between Senior and Underclassmen drafted.

Round by Round:

1st round (32 picks) – Seniors: 13 (40.6%) – Underclassmen: 19 (59.4%)

2nd round (32 picks) – Seniors: 15 (46.8%) – Underclassmen: 17 (53.2%)

3rd round (38 picks) – Seniors: 22 (57.8%) – Underclassmen: 16 (42.2%)

4th round (36 picks) – Seniors: 23 (63.8%) – Underclassmen: 13 (36.2%)

5th round (35 picks) – Seniors: 26 (74.2%) – Underclassmen: 9 (25.7%)

6th round (41 picks) – Seniors: 31 (75.6%) – Underclassmen: 10 (24.4%)

7th round (40 picks) – Seniors: 33 (82.5%) – Underclassmen: 7 (17.5%)

Other Notes:

Top 25 Picks:  Seniors: 7 (28.0%) – Underclassmen: 18 (72.0%)

Top 50 Picks: Seniors: 21 (42.0%) – Underclassmen: 29 (58.0%)

Top 100 Picks: Seniors: 50 (50.0%) – Underclassmen: 50 (50.0%)

Top 150 Picks: Seniors: 83 (55.4%) – Underclassmen: 67 (44.6%)

44 Underclassmen that declared for the NFL Draft went undrafted

The NFL Draft is not made up just from the Power 5 Conferences

By Justin VanFulpen

A lot of people believe that the NFL Draft is made up of the Power 5 college football conferences (ACC, Big 10, Big 12, SEC & Pac-12) in college football but that is not totally the case.  If we take a look at the past 5 NFL Draft we see that there are a good amount of draft picks that come from other levels of college football.

2019 NFL Draft (254 picks):

53 Draft picks Non-Power 5 (20.8%)

16 of those 53 Non-FBS

Buffalo Bills DT Ed Oliver, Houston – 1st round 9th overall was earliest Non-Power 5 pick.

Houston Texans OT Tytus Howard, Alabama State- 1st round 23rd overall was earlies Non-FBS pick.

2018 NFL Draft (256 picks):

63 Draft picks Non-Power 5 (24.6%)

22 of those 63 Non-FBS

Buffalo Bills QB Josh Allen, Wyoming – 1st round 7th overall was earliest Non-Power 5 pick.

Philadelphia Eagles TE Dallas Goedert – 2nd round 49th overall was earliest Non-FBS pick.

2017 NFL Draft (253 picks):

43 Draft picks Non-Power 5 (16.9%)

15 of those 43 Non-FBS

Tennessee Titans WR Corey Davis, Western Michigan – 1st round 5thoverall was earliest Non-Power 5 pick.

Chicago Bears TE Adam Shaheen, Ashland – 2nd round 45th overall was earliest Non-FBS pick.

2016 NFL Draft (253 picks):

57 Draft picks Non-Power 5 (22.5%)

20 of those 57 Non-FBS

Philadelphia Eagles QB Carson Wentz, North Dakota State -1st round 2nd overall was earliest Non-Power 5 and Non-FBS pick.

2015 NFL Draft (256 picks):

56 Draft picks Non-Power 5 (21.8%)

20 of those 56 Non-FBS

Baltimore Ravens WR Breshad Perriman, UCF – 1st round 26th overall pick was the earliest Non-Power 5 pick.

San Francisco 49ers S Jaquiski Tartt, Samford – 2nd round 46th overall pick was the earliest Non-FBS pick.

2014 NFL Draft (256 picks):

84 Draft picks Non-Power 5 (32.8%)

24 of those 84 Non-FBS

Jacksonville Jaguars QB Blake Bortles, UCF – 1st round 3 pick overall was the earliest Non-Power 5 pick.

New England Patriots QB Jimmy Garoppolo, Eastern Illinois – 2nd round 62nd overall was the earliest Non-FBS pick.

2013 NFL Draft (254 picks):

88 Draft picks Non-Power 5 (34.6%)

29 of those 88 Non-FBS

Kansas City Chiefs OT Eric Fisher, Central Michigan – 1st round 1st overall pick was the earliest Non-Power 5 pick.

Atlanta Falcons CB Robert Alford, Southeastern Louisiana – 2nd round 60th overall was the earliest Non-FBS pick.

2012 NFL Draft (253 picks):

69 Draft picks Non-Power 5 (27.2%)

22 of those 69 Non-FBS

Kansas City Chiefs DT Dontari Poe, Memphis – 1st round 11th overall pick was the earliest Non-Power 5 pick.

St. Louis Rams WR Brian Quick, Appalachian State – – 2nd round 33rd overall was the earliest Non-FBS pick.   (In 2012 Appalachian State was non FBS – they have moved to the FBS now)

So in the past 5 NFL Draft we see there was at least 1 first round pick from a Non-5 Power conference and in 2013 the first overall pick came from a Non-5 Power conference.  In the past 4 NFL draft ever year there has been a 2nd round pick that was from a Non-FBS school.

So just remember if you are in a Power 5 conference there are other guys looking to get drafted just as high as you are and if you are not in a Power 5 conference it doesn’t matter if you can play football the NFL will find you.

NFL Draft: 5 Year Draft Averages by Position (2019-2015)

By Justin VanFulpen

With the 2019 NFL Draft in the books here is the average amount of players drafted at each position over the past 5 years (2015-2019) and the highs and lows.

QB – Average amount drafted – 11.2 – High amount drafted 15 (2016) Low amount drafted 7 (2015)

RB– Average amount drafted – 22.0 – High amount drafted 26 (2017) Low amount drafted 20 (2015)

FB – Average amount drafted – 2.2 – High amount drafted 3 (2016,2015) Low amount drafted 1 (2019)

WR – Average amount drafted – 32.0 – High amount drafted 34 (2015) Low amount drafted 28 (2019)

TE – Average amount drafted – 13.0 – High amount drafted 18 (2015) Low amount drafted 9 (2016)

OT – Average amount drafted – 20.6 – High amount drafted 26 (2015) Low amount drafted 16 (2017)

OG – Average amount drafted – 14.2 – High amount drafted 18 (2015) Low amount drafted 10 (2018)

C – Average amount drafted – 6.2 – High amount drafted 8 (2018, 2016) Low amount drafted 5 (2015,2017, 2019)

DE – Average amount drafted – 23– High amount drafted 26 (2017, 2019) Low amount drafted 17 (2016)

DT – Average amount drafted – 20.4 – High amount drafted 22 (2016) Low amount drafted 18 (2015)

 LB – Average amount drafted – 34.2 – High amount drafted 39 (2018) Low amount drafted 28 (2017)

CB – Average amount drafted – 31.8 – High amount drafted 34 (2017) Low amount drafted 29 (2018)

S – Average amount drafted – 19.0 – High amount drafted 23 (2017) Low amount drafted 15 (2015)

K – Average amount drafted – 1.6 – High amount drafted 3 (2017) Low amount drafted 0 (2015)

P – Average amount drafted – 2 – High amount drafted 4 (2018) Low amount drafted 0 (2017)

2019 NFL Draft: NFL Scouting Combine Results

By Justin VanFulpen

In the football business one of the closely guarded secrets before the official list is released is who is getting invited to the NFL Combine.  The NFL Combine is run by National Scouting and has become a televised event by the NFL Network.  For more information about how the NFL Combine invites work you can check out my article from a year ago: NFL Draft: NFL Combine just part of the process.

Now that the 2019 NFL Draft is in the books we can look at the results.  This year there were 337 players invited to the NFL Combine and their where 34 players that were drafted that did NOT go to the NFL Combine.  Break down as far as rounds go:

1st round – 1 player
2nd round – 0
3rd round – 2 players
4th round – 1 player
5th round – 2 players
6th round – 12 players
7th round – 16 players

So 117 players that were invited to this year’s NFL Combine were not drafted.  So the percentage of players that were drafted that were invited to the NFL Combine was 65%, so it is far from a guarantee if you are invited that you will get selected in the NFL Draft.  Last year it was 64% of the players that were at the NFL Combine where drafted.

2019 NFL Draft: All-Star Game Report

By Justin VanFulpen

College Football All-Star games are part of the pre-draft process that is more important then the NFL Combine and Pro Days because it is football and scouts can evaluate good on good players.  The Senior Bowl is the best all-star game and one that all Senior prospects want to get invited to. Here is the amount of draft picks per all-star games.

Senior Bowl – 93
East-West Shrine Game – 31
NFLPA Bowl – 2
Tropical Bowl – 1

Getting invite to an all-star can help out a NFL Draft prospect rise his draft status if he takes advantage.

Why “Spring Grades” are Important to NFL Prospects

By Justin VanFulpen

When NFL scouts from the two scouting services BLETSO and National go into a school to do their junior evaluation they are looking to grade the NFL draft prospects for the next year’s draft but also to eliminate players as guys who can’t play in the NFL.  The scouts give those players “reject” grades so scout in the fall don’t have to spend time on players who are deemed not NFL players.

The scouting services grade over 13,000 senior college football players each year at all levels of football and normally there are around 600 with draft able or free-agent grades.  True do players with “reject” grades get draft? Yes but it is few and far between.

BLETSO and National have their spring meeting to go over grades around Labor Day time in May to be able to help set the scouts schedule for training camps visits in the summer.  Prospects are not told what their spring grade is by the two scouting services, but normally in the summer the grades get out and agents, financial advisors, media members and all-star games get their hands on them.

What goes into a spring grade:

  1. Junior Film
  2. Height/Weight/Speed – The scouts either get that information when on campus when the measure and weigh the prospect as well as get hand size and arm length. Some school will allow the prospects to run the 40 for the scouts but that is very few and mainly smaller schools. Some schools don’t allow scouts to do height/weight so the scout will just have to estimate the prospect height/weight/40 time.
  3. Background – Scouts will try to get information on prospect past both off the field and medical.

Spring grades are important for a number of reasons:

1. It is a road map for NFL scouts in the fall to where they should spend their most time.

2. National Scouting runs the NFL Combine so if a player has a good spring grade he is more likely to get invited then if he doesn’t.

3. All-Star games try to get their hands on these grades and use them when they start to invite players to their games.

True as a Senior what you do on the field is most import to your final NFL draft grade, but it doesn’t hurt to start with a good spring grade going into your Senior season.