In the College Football season and the NFL Draft process we are coming up on the midway point. NFL Scouts have been to training camp to look at the prospects that had spring grades from National or BLETSO and they have watched film on prospects from the first couple of weeks, seen players live both in practice and games and will keep doing that as we get to the end of the season. If you are a college football player what is going on now is the following:
If you were not graded in the spring as a draftable or free-agent prospect by the two scouting services (BLETSO & National) you need to dominate or keep dominating so you can get on the scouts radar because scouts aren’t looking to add guys they are looking to eliminate them as a prospect for their team.
All-Star Games (Senior Bowl, East West Shrine, NFLPA) – Their first round of invites will go out this month. Some coaches keep them and don’t give them to their players until later in the season but if you didn’t get an invite yet you still can but that tells you what they NFL thinks of you right now. Meaning they don’t see you as a draftable prospect at this time.
Scouting – Right now the area scout from all 32 teams has been to your school or seen you on film. They aren’t the decision maker for their team if they are going to draft you or sign you their job in the gather information and have an opinion for their boss the General Manager or Director of College Scouting. But if they don’t think you can play at the next level less likely that any of the higher up will do any work on your film.
Scheme Fit – Teams are looking for players that fit the scheme that they are running on offense and defense so you could be a good player but if you don’t fit the scheme or have the size that they are looking for in that scheme you most likely will be eliminated for their draft board.
Background Checks – Scouts are looking to find out all the information they can for anyone that knows you from the strength coaches to people on campus to see if there is any trouble in your pass or if you are a good person.
Coaches – If the NFL thinks there is an NFL prospect at the school it has talked to at least one of the coaches on the staff and most likely the head coach to see if the coach or coaches would recommend their player or just their overall thoughts on the player.
The season is not over the process is still going but it is closer to the end then the beginning.
After the NFL Draft is over many players are not drafted as high as they thought they would or were promise and some didn’t get drafted at all in this year’s NFL Draft. First off if any agent promise that you will get drafted, or he or she promises you what round you will get drafted …RUN!
No one knows for sure were a player will get drafted not even the teams – see Baker Mayfield two years ago, no one thought he would go number one overall even a week before the draft, before the season started and even during the season a lot of teams had him graded as a third round pick. This time last year no one thought Kyler Murray was going to be the first overall pick or even play football at all.
An agent is a facilitator of your talents as a player and what you have put on film.
An agent can help get you into an All-Star game (Senior Bowl, E-W Shrine, etc.), help you in the pre-draft process, promote your film to NFL scouts, promote you to the media, give you an overview of the NFL landscape in terms of your position with the 32 NFL teams, but if the NFL teams don’t think you can play in the NFL he or she is not going to get you drafted or signed. We have seen players move up draft boards based on all-star game performances or fall down draft boards because they didn’t test like they played.
NFL teams for the most part don’t care who your agent is. Also NFL teams are going to do what they feel is best for their teams not doing a favor for an agent that they know or like.
An agent has a valuable role to play in the process and they can help move guys up with their guidance and skills about the pre-draft process but an NFL agent alone can’t get a player drafted or signed. It comes down to does the NFL teams think the player has the skills to play in the NFL. In the end the film doesn’t lie.
Is it against NCAA rules for players and parents to talk to agents?
No – It is not a violation of NCAA rules if a student-athlete merely talks to an agent (as long as an agreement for agent representation is not established or nothing of value is giving to an athlete) or socializes with an agent. For example, a student-athlete could go to dinner with an agent and no NCAA violations would result if the student-athlete provided his own transportation and paid for his or her meal.
Will NFL teams or scouts provide their spring grades on the player from the two scouting service (BLETSO & National)?
No – The scouting services (BLETSO & National) keep their information private and do not share it with players, parents, coaches, agents, trainers, etc. Does the information leak out there from time to time and are people able to get their hands on it, yes but it doesn’t come from the two organizations directly.
How do BLETSO and National come up with the spring grades?
Both scouting service will come in the spring and evaluate the upcoming senior’s by watching film of the prospects junior year, talking to the strength and conditioning staff, the coaching staff, and the academic staff at the school about the prospects. Some schools allow the scouts to come in and measure the prospects height, weight, hands size, arm length as well as have the prospects take the Wonderlic Test. Some schools will even allow the scouts to time their players in the 40 yard dash, but very schools will allow this now.
Can players, parents and coaches contact the College Football All-Star games to recommend a player for the All-Star game?
Yes – Anyone can contact the All-Star games (Senior Bowl, East West Shrine Game, NFLPA Bowl, etc.) to recommend a player and the sooner the better to make sure the player in on the games watch list or at least on the games radar that they would be interested in playing in the game. The best person to contact is the director of the game.
How does getting invited to the NFL Combine in Indianapolis work?
National Football Scouting, one of the two scouting service that NFL team use run it, they have a committee of 10 members and they vote on the players that are selected. Having a good spring grade goes along way to getting selected because spring grades are a road map to where NFL scouts are going to go and watch and evaluate prospects.
When can a player sign with an agent?
When his college eligibility is totally done (after last game, and college team has no more games) as a senior or if a player is going to declare early for the NFL draft he has to be 3 years removed from high school and once he declares for the NFL Draft he forfeits the rest of his college eligibility.
What is the maximum an agent can charge from the player NFL contact?
Per the NFLPA rules the maximum an NFLPA Certified Contract Advisors (agents) can charge is 3% – The agent only get paid after the player get paid off of the players signing bonus or other bonuses in the contract and the base salary.
What is the normal commission fee for marketing and off the field money made for the player?
Agents or marketing firms usually charge between 10% and 15% commission on marketing and off the field money.
Does a player have to hire an agent?
No – But NFL teams are only allowed to talk to NFLPA Certified Contract Advisors that represent the player or the player themselves. They are not allowed to negotiate with family members or other non-certified people and if they do the team could possible lose future draft choices.
How does a player sign with an agent (NFLPA Certified Contract Advisors)?
They player signs what is called an SRA (Standard Representation Agreement) that is from the NFLPA and is standard for all players. By sign this is also makes the player part of the NFLPA and Players Inc. (The marketing arm of the NFLPA). At any time the players can fire the agent and has to wait 5 days to hire another agent to represent him.
What are the steps that go into getting a Senior prospect final grade?
Film (80%) – Your level of competition and how you played against the best level of competition you faced that year. Each NFL team will view around 3 full games of your current season normally against who is the best competition. This also includes if a prospect plays in any of the college football all-star games. Scouts are not watching highlight clips to grade they are watching full game and grading every play. They are looking to see if a player plays hard and hustles on every play they are in.
Athletic Numbers (10%) – Height, Weight, Speed. Teams are looking at the film first and then see if the prospect checks off the box in the athletic numbers per the position. But still the film comes first. True teams have a range of where they athletic numbers need to be, but if you can’t play that goes out the window.
Injury History/Off Field/Football IQ (10%) – Any major injuries, anything major off the field, love of the game, film study. Scouts are check social media, talking to high school coaches, strength coaches, academic advisors, current coaches as they try to find out as much information on the prospect on and off the field. Teams will reject players fully for injury and off the field issues no matter how good a player is on the field.
True in the NFL it is all about can you play the game at a high level and it is about the film and as they always say “the eye in the sky can’t tell a lie” but there are other factors that make up a player draft stock that has nothing to do with your skill as a player. There are a lot of things that are out of players control but there are many that it comes down to choices.
Effort/Hustle – Going 100% on every play doesn’t have anything to do skill. Having a high motor and giving hustle and effort on every play is only a positive and is something that a player can control. Remember scouts and coaches and not just watching highlight tapes, they are watching full games to see what you do on every snap.
Football IQ – Film study, knowledge of your opponent, what are his tendencies, knowledge of your scheme and the purpose of each play, knowledge of the rules, all of these things it doesn’t matter how athletically gifted you are as a player.
Accepting Coaching – Remember scouts are going to talk to coaches about prospects, from the head coach down to the position coaches and one thing coaches are going to is be honest with the scouts because coaches know that they are only as good as their word when it comes to what they tell the scouts. So if the prospect will accept coaching, willing to do what the coaches ask of him are all things that a prospect has control over.
Failed Drug Test – As a player you might not thing that this is a big deal but it is something that can hurt you with NFL teams and is something that as player you have control over.
Domestic Violence/ Violence against Women – There are many documented cases that has affected guys draft status including a few years ago with running back Joe Mixon (Cincinnati Bengals). Even with this happening a few years ago many teams took him off their draft board and he dropped a lot further in the draft then many people had him graded on film.
Association – When NFL teams are doing their due diligence investigating player’s back-grounds they are interested in who the player hangs with off the field and do any of these people present red flags. They are wondering if by associating with these people will the player be affected to making some bad decisions?
Social Media – Monitoring and reviewing player’s social media has become a big time in the recent years. Scouts are looking to see what the prospect is posting on these platforms (Twitter, Facebook, Snapchat, Instagram). They are looking for is the player posting about football? Some of the red flags they are looking for is the prospect posting about Guns, Violence, Drugs, Alcohol, etc.?
Work Ethic – As a prospect are you a hard worker in the weight room, on the practice field, in the class room. Thing is one thing that a prospect can control. One of the most important resource to a NFL scout is the weight room coach or the strength and conditioning coach. Scouts are going to ask does this prospect show up for work outs, does he do extra, do you have to push him to give effort? All things that can be controlled.
Medical – This is one that a prospect doesn’t have much control over, in football injuries happen, and they do have an effect on prospect draft grade. What a prospect does have is when the injury does happen how hard to they attack the rehab, also what are you doing as far as injury prevention?
The NFL supplemental draft is held every year after the
regular draft in April, normally in early July. It is held so that if a
prospect will not be eligible for the upcoming college football season can
apply to play in the NFL and without the supplement draft it would leave the
prospect in limbo for a full year. If a player wants to be included in the
supplemental draft, a formal petition needs to be filed with the league and not
every player is guaranteed admittance. Players need to be at least three years
removed from high school to be eligible for the supplemental draft. The most
common reason a player will enter the supplemental draft is because of not
being eligible due to academic reasons. But other reason do come up as to why a
player would be ruled eligible to be included in the supplemental draft.
The supplemental draft order is different from the regular
draft order. Teams are separated into three groups based on the previous
season; the first group are non-playoff teams that had six or fewer wins. The
second group are non-playoff teams with more six wins. And the final group are
playoff teams. The order in those groups are determined by a weighted lottery
with the teams with the fewest wins given the best chance to win the earliest
picks. Bids for players are submitted blindly by teams with the round that
given team would want to select a given player. Obviously, the team highest in
the draft order who submits the earliest-round bid for a player will be awarded
that player. When that happens, that club forfeits a pick in the same round of
next year’s regular draft.
Last year two players where selected in the NFL Supplemental
Draft, Sam Beal, Western Michigan by the New York Giants in the 3rd
round, and Adonis Alexander, Virginia Tech by the Washington Redskins in the 6th
If a player enters the supplemental draft and is not drafted
then he automatically becomes a free-agent and then is able to sign with any
Past NFL Supplemental Draft picks:
1977 Al Hunter RB 4th Seattle Seahawks Notre Dame Suspended
from the team for disciplinary reasons.
Dirden WR 10th Houston Oilers Sam Houston State dropped
out of college after two years.
Rod Connors RB 12th San
Francisco 49ers USC dropped out of college with eligibility
1979 Rod Stewart RB 6th Buffalo Bills Kentucky
Teague DE 7th Atlanta
Falcons Prairie View A&M
Billy Mullins WR 9th San
Diego Chargers USC declared ineligible when it was
discovered that he gained credits simultaneously from four junior colleges in
the fall of 1977 in order to gain entry to USC.
1981 Dave Wilson QB 1st New Orleans Saints Illinois declared ineligible amid questions about his high school
transcript and junior college stay.
Chy Davidson WR 11th New
England Patriots Rhode Island
Robinson CB 9th Detroit
Lions North Carolina A&T
1985 Bernie Kosar QB 1st Cleveland Browns Miami (FL) Graduated after his junior year.
Roosevelt Snipes RB 8th San
Francisco 49ers Florida State Academically ineligible.
Crawford RB 7th Philadelphia
Eagles Oklahoma State Crawford missed his senior year with an injury
and declared for the supplemental draft amid questions about whether his
eligibility would be extended (currently, medical redshirt status would be
given before the draft deadline).
Bosworth LB 1st Seattle
Seahawks Oklahoma Bosworth had been dismissed from the
Oklahoma football team following the 1986 season. Since he was a junior, he was
eligible to be chosen in the 1987 draft but did not declare before the
deadline and decided to wait for the supplemental draft, which he was
eligible for due to his graduation from Oklahoma one year early.
Dan Sileo DT 3rd Tampa
Bay Buccaneers Miami (FL) Sileo was declared ineligible by the
NCAA for his senior season.
Cris Carter WR 4th Philadelphia Eagles Ohio State Carter was suspended before his senior season for signing with an agent.
1988 Ryan Bethea WR 5th Minnesota Vikings South Carolina Suspended from team over drug arrests
1989 Steve Walsh QB 1st Dallas Cowboys Miami (FL) Walsh did
not declare for the draft before its deadline.
Timm Rosenbach QB 1st Phoenix
Cardinals Washington State Rosenbach did not declare for the
draft before its deadline.
Bobby Humphrey RB 1st Denver
Brett Young DB 8th Buffalo
Mike Lowman RB 12th Dallas
Cowboys Coffeyville Community College
1990 Rob Moore WR 1st New York Jets Syracuse Moore
graduated from college with a year of eligibility remaining, and did not
declare in time for regular draft.
Willie Williams TE 9th Phoenix
1992 Dave Brown QB 1st New York Giants Duke Brown
graduated from college with a year of eligibility remaining, and did not
declare for the NFL until after the regular draft had been held. Brown is the
last player taken in the first round of the supplemental draft.
Darren Mickell DE 2nd Kansas
City Chiefs Florida Mickell was suspended from team for senior
season for undisclosed violations of team rules.
1994 Tito Wooten CB 4th New York Giants Northeast Louisiana
John Davis TE 5th Dallas
Cowboys Emporia State
Benson DT 3rd Dallas Cowboys Trinity Valley Community College
1998 Mike Wahle OT 2nd Green Bay Packers Navy Wahle was
suspended for senior season by the NCAA after testing positive for steroids.
Jamal Williams NT 2nd San
Diego Chargers Oklahoma State Williams was declared academically ineligible
before his senior season.
Cherry CB 4th New
England Patriots Arizona State
Brown G 6th Houston Texans Florida State He had used
up his five-year competition eligibility.
Hollings RB 2nd Houston
Texans Georgia Tech He was academically ineligible for the 2003 college season.
Wright DT 5th Miami Dolphins USC Chose entering the
draft over not playing college football while trying to regain his academic
2006 Ahmad Brooks LB 3rd Cincinnati Bengals Virginia He was dismissed from his college team.
2007 Paul Oliver S 4th San Diego Chargers Georgia He
left college because of academic problems.
Jared Gaither OT 5th Baltimore
Ravens Maryland He was declared academically
ineligible in college.
Jarmon DE 3rd Washington Redskins Kentucky Suspended
over failed drug test.
2010 Harvey Unga FB 7th Chicago Bears BYU Expelled for
Josh Brent NT 7th Dallas Cowboys Illinois He was reportedly academically ineligible for the 2010 college football season
Pryor QB 3rd Oakland
Raiders Ohio State Suspended as part of NCAA
investigation into improper benefits.
2012 Josh Gordon WR 2nd Cleveland Browns Baylor Dismissed
for failed marijuana test.
Battle OT 5th St. Louis
Rams Clemson Had “family matters to attend”, as well as
2018 Sam Beal CB 3rd New York Giants Western Michigan He
was declared academically ineligible in college.
Adonis Alexander CB 6th Washington
Redskins Virginia Tech He was declared academically ineligible in