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 Scouting Service, 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?
- Junior Day
- Junior Film Study
- Spring Grades
- Training Camp Visits (By NFL Scouts)
- Regular Season/Post Season
- College Football All-Star Games
- NFL Combine
- Pro Day/Individual Works Outs
- Team Grades (From Scouts, Front Office & Coaches)
- NFL Draft
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 2017 NFL Draft is in the books we can look at the results. This year there were 336 players invited to the NFL Combineand their where 38 players that were drafted that did NOT go to the NFL Combine. Break down as far as rounds go:
2nd round – 1 player
3rd round – 1 player
4th round – 1 player
5th round – 4 players
6th round – 12 players
7th round – 19 players
So 118 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 64%, so it is far from a guarantee if you are invited that you will get selected in the NFL Draft. Last year it was 68% of the players that were at the NFL Combine where drafted.
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.
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.
By Justin VanFulpen
This time of the year in college football, the mock drafts start coming out and people start talking about what players will declare early. But just because some on the internet is saying that this player should declare early or someone close to the player telling him that he should leave school early might not know all the facts.
1. NFL Scouts weren’t allowed to scout underclassmen, until this season when the rule was changed. But with this rule change this year with the new agreement with the AFCA and NFL that took effect, where school gave the scout a list of 5 possible players that could declare that they were allowed to get info on. Scouts do look at the guys that they know for sure will be coming out early, but their main focus is the senior prospects. The underclassmen that aren’t general accepted as a 1st round pick there is rarely any work done on them during the season.
2. Underclassmen aren’t allowed at post season all-star games. 6 years ago with the NFLPA started the NFLPA Collegiate Bowl they were going to challenge the NFL rule and did allow one underclassmen in the game. That caused the NFL teams not to send a single scout to that all-star game. Because of that the NFLPA has only allowed seniors in their all-star game for then on. As we saw in the 2013 NFL Draft All-Star games are a big part of the process where OT Eric Fisher, Central Michigan went from a late first rounder all the way up to the number one overall pick because of his play at the Senior Bowl.
3. NFL Combine – First official time NFL scouts can talk to underclassmen. Just because a prospect has declared early doesn’t automatically get him an invite to the NFL combine. So if a prospect is not invited then really the first time a scout get to talk with a prospect is at his school Pro Day.
4. NFL Draft Advisory Board – The board is composed of general managers and personnel directors from a number of NFL teams, along with the directors of the NFL’s two scouting combines, BLESTO and National. A prospect can ask for their assessment on where he is projected to get drafted. The board will return their assessment of the prospect with three possible grades – first round, second round, or neither, which means that the board advises the player to stay in school. The school can get a hold of the NFL Draft Advisory Board or the prospect can contact the NFL Player Personnel Department directly.
5. The 2017 NFL Draft included 95 underclassmen and another eight who entered the draft having earned a degree but still with NCAA playing eligibility. 67 underclassmen were drafted, leaving 28 (30 percent) not drafted. The 2016 NFL Draft 30 of 96 underclassmen were not chosen (31 percent).
Every prospects situation is different when thinking about declaring early for the NFL Draft but each prospect should get as much information as possible in regards to leaving school early for the NFL Draft.