2020 NFL Draft: Senior vs Underclassmen Break-Down

Here is the breakdown for the 2020 NFL Draft between Senior and Underclassmen drafted.

Round by Round:

1st round (32 picks) – Seniors: 9 (28.1%) – Underclassmen: 23 (71.8%)

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

3rd round (42 picks) – Seniors: 34 (80.9%) – Underclassmen: 8 (19.0%)

4th round (40 picks) – Seniors: 28 (70.0%) – Underclassmen: 12 (30.0%)

5th round (33 picks) – Seniors: 26 (78.7%) – Underclassmen: 7 (21.2%)

6th round (35 picks) – Seniors: 31 (88.5%) – Underclassmen: 4 (11.4%)

7th round (41 picks) – Seniors: 37 (90.2%) – Underclassmen: 4 (9.7%)

Other Notes:

Top 25 Picks: Seniors: 6 (28.0%) – Underclassmen: 19 (72.0%)

Top 50 Picks: Seniors: 15 (42.0%) – Underclassmen: 35 (58.0%)

Top 100 Picks: Seniors: 51 (50.0%) – Underclassmen: 49 (50.0%)

Top 150 Picks: Seniors: 94 (62.6%) – Underclassmen: 56 (37.3%)

2020 NFL Draft: NFL Scouting Combine Results

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 2020 NFL Draft is in the books we can look at the results.  This year there were 337 players invited to the NFL Combine and there were 23 players that were drafted that did NOT go to the NFL Combine.  Break down as far as rounds go:

1st round – 0
2nd round – 0
3rd round – 0
4th round – 1 player
5th round – 3 players
6th round – 6 players
7th round – 13 players

So 105 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 68.8%, so it is far from a guarantee if you are invited that you will get selected in the NFL Draft. 

How COVID-19 is affecting the 2021 NFL Draft

One thing that goes on in the spring that NFL fans don’t pay to much attention to is NFL scouts from the two NFL scouting services, BLETSO and National Football Scouting go on college campuses and doing what is called “junior days”.   “Junior Days” are where scouts will get the players height, weight, some schools will allow guys to run 40s and the scouts will grade the film of the players that will be Seniors in the fall and give them what is called a “Spring Grade”.   

Then around Memorial Day the two Scouting Services and all the NFL scouts that subscribed to either of those services will get together for a long weekend normally in Florida and read the spring reports and go over the “Spring Grades”.  These grades become the road map of the scouts in the summer and fall to evaluate the next class of NFL prospects for the following spring draft. 

Because of what is going on with the COVID-19 pandemic, many “juniors days” won’t happen so scouts won’t have information on those prospects leaving information need to make up “spring grades” unavailable. 

Talking with multiple scouts the “Spring Grades” for the 2021 NFL Draft will either just not happen or be delayed and it will affect how the NFL teams do their business this upcoming fall and leading into next years NFL Draft.  The reason why “Spring Grades” play such a big role is because of the two scouting services that the NFL uses, National Football Scouting (NFS) is the company that actually runs the NFL Combine in Indianapolis.  They take their “spring grades” as the starting point for the invites to the NFL Combine that following January. 

Even though “spring grades” are not made public and are suppose to remain proprietary the grades get out and agents, trainers, financial advisors, all-star games all try to get their hands on them to be able to make best decision on who to go after. 

Yes the COVID-19 pandemic is going to effect the 2020 NFL Draft with Pro Days, Top-30 Visits and work-outs canceled but is already effecting the 2021 Draft as well.

True, there is much bigger problems with the COVID-19 pandemic but just something else that it is impacting. 

Why NFL “Spring Grades” are Important to NFL Prospects

When NFL scouts from the two scouting services BLETSO and National Football Scouting (NFS) go into a school to do their junior evaluation in February/March 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.  Scouts give draftable grades, undrafted free-agent grades and “reject” grades (Not a prospect at this time). 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 Football Scouting (NFS) 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.

7 Things an Agent can help a Coach with

When it comes to the business of coaching there is a lot more then just X’s and O’s and having someone on your team that can provide assistant in many different ways can be invaluable. Here are just 7 different things an agent can help their coaching client with.

Social Media Consulting:  An agent can review coach’s social media accounts to make sure they are presenting the best image possible and if they aren’t on a social media platform help them get on it and use it to its best ability possible.

Interview Preparation: An agent can help get coaches prepared for their job interview from everything such as sample interview questions to reviewing their overall plan.

Media & Public Relations:  An agent can help coaches utilize the media and public relations as the ability to get their message out there and help increase their visibility and showcase their skills.

Career Counsel: An agent can be a sounding board with proven-expertise to assist coaches in their all aspects of their career.

Marketing:  An agent can help our coaches identifying potential outside income opportunities that may be available to them, such as public appearances, paid media opportunities, golf outings and more.

Job Placement Support: An agent can work to put their coach in the best position to obtain their desired position through anticipating openings, gathering information, and strategizing in all areas of the search process.

Contract Negotiation: An agent can focus on maximizing their coaches earning potential and professional protection, while the coach can just focus on being the best coach he can be.

2020 NFL Rookie Dollars & Cents

2019 NFL Draft Analysis – Average Guaranteed Dollars by Round
1st Round – $16,939,370
2nd Round – $3,786853
3rd Round – $946,211
4th Round – $692,925
5th Round – $301,369
6th Round – $161,745
7th Round – $88,795

(These numbers include base salary, signing, roster and option bonuses that are guaranteed)

Undrafted Free Agents
$5,000 (Average Signing Bonus)

2020 Rookie Minimum Salary: $610,000
So weekly pay if on 53 man roster: $35,882

2020 Practice Squad Weekly Pay: $8,400 ($142,800 if on all 17 weeks)
Players that are drafted sign 4 year contracts
Players that are not drafted sign 3 year contracts

So an undrafted contact done in 2020 would be 3 years with no signing bonus with be 3 years $2,285,000 (nothing guaranteed)

Base Salaries:
2020: $610,000
2021: $660,000
2022: $705,000

Training Camp/Pre-Season Pay: $1,150.00

Off-Season Pay (OTA’s/Mini Camp): $235 per workout – 3 to 4 per week depending

Post Season Pay:
Division Winner: $33,000
Wild Card: $30,000

Division Playoff $33,000

Conference Championship: $59,000

Super Bowl Winner: $130,000
Super Bowl Loser: $65,000

Performance Based Pool:  If a player plays one down in a regular season game he is eligible. This is a lump sum of money paid out after the season based on each player playtime percentage.

NFL/NFL Draft – Frequently Asked Questions

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?

  1. Junior Day
  2. Junior Film Study
  3. Spring Grades
  4. Training Camp Visits (By NFL Scouts)
  5. Regular Season/Post Season
  6. College Football All-Star Games
  7. NFL Combine
  8. Pro Day/Individual Works Outs
  9. Team Grades (From Scouts, Front Office & Coaches)
  10. NFL Draft

What can help/hurt a players NFL draft stock that has nothing to do with playing

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?