All-Games: Even before an agent signing a prospect he/she is most likely contacting the director of the all-star games but especially after a client has signed with an agent are they contacting the directors to see if they can get their client in a game. With the All-Star games being the last time football is practice or played it is the last time the NFL scouts will have a chance to evaluate the prospect in person, and as we always see players rise and sliding because of all-star game practice and game performances.
Film: Agents should be contacting scouts and coaches to sell and promote their clients best game film against their best level of competition that they played. With the game films agents can sell to scouts and coaches how their prospect fits into the team’s schemes and how they would be an upgrade to their roster.
NFL Scouts: Scouts make their own judgement and are paid to give their opinion on a prospects ability to play in the NFL. Agents are contacting scouts to give them information about their prospect and sell their prospects ability to play football.
Promotion of Prospect: An agent is looking to use the media as a form of getting their prospects story out there also to make sure other teams know that there is more than just one team interested in the prospect. Also an agent is looking to see what deals that they can make in with different companies to make their prospect additional money off the field. Some agent or agency might outsource these two jobs. Also each prospects ability to make money off the field will be different based on how high they are projected to be drafted as well as what position that they play.
Knowledge of the NFL Landscape: Each prospect is in competition with every player in their position as well as the current players at their position in the NFL, so an agent needs to have a working knowledge base to properly advise their client. They need to know what they of offense and defense scheme a team runs. It would be embarrassing if an agent was promoting a 3-4 defense end (5 tech) to a team that runs a 4-3 defense. Also if a prospect is not drafted where he is advising his client to sign is a big deal as if this prospect is just a “camp body” or has an actually shot at making the 53-man roster. What is the agent using to make a determination, what they are offer as a signing bonus or what the team currently has on their roster at their client position and the scheme the team runs? So knowledge of the NFL is an important thing.
These are just some of the tasks that an agent performs per draft there are many additional ones after the draft is over.
By Justin VanFulpen
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.
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.
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.
By Justin VanFulpen
When the NFL regular season started around 40% of NFL rosters were made up of undrafted players. Every year when it comes to who makes the 53 man roster you will see teams that cut draft picks and keep undrafted players. Being around the NFL business for almost 20 years if different aspects from covering it, to doing player personal to representing players, there is one thing that is hard to measure. That is the player’s true motivation. True there can be many factors on why a NFL draft pick doesn’t make it but to me one big factor is that it comes down to do two different types of prospects – Players who goal is to make it to the NFL and players who goal is to play in the NFL.
For NFL scouts and coaches this is hardest thing to figure out. Because people can say and do all the right thing but the really questions is what is the true motivation. All NFL prospects have good film and are good athletes or wouldn’t be considered a prospect.
Player who goal is to make it to the NFL – Their ending goal in football is that they have reached the highest level and it is a finishing point not a starting point in their football career. Maybe they are doing it because it seems to be the cool thing to do, it will make their parents, family and friends proud. They like the attention that it gets them on social media. But it is where the goal stops. This prospect is less likely to do the extra things to maintain his career or roster spot.
Player who goal is to play in the NFL – Getting drafted or signed is start part of the goal and not the end of the goal, true they are excited to see a dream fulfilled but know that now the work beings to reaching their goal of a long NFL career. This prospect is more likely to be willing to do the extra things to maintain his career or roster spot.
In terms of the extra things, it means does the prospect/player treat this as a business 365 days a year, does extra film work, taking practice seriously, make sure he is getting into the building early and staying late, taking care of his body with extra treatment, rest, recovery, a good diet and hydration.
The NFL is hard week to week business that if a player doesn’t have the correct motivation to make it in the NFL it will be come clear early. Only a player truly knows what type of prospects he is and at the end of the day it is his career but the job of the people drafting and signing players is to try to figure out what they players true motivation is.
By Justin VanFulpen
Many players were 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 this past April, 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.
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.
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.
By Justin VanFulpen
This might not be any new information but here is some of the basic’s when it comes to the NFL business.
Roster size: 90 man roster in the off-season and start of training camp. Rosters will get cut down to 53 man roster and of that only 46 players dress for each week. If a player doesn’t dress he will still get paid the same if he did dress for the game.
Benefits of being on 53 man roster: After you play 2 regular season games you will be automatic enrolled in the 401K in which the NFL has a match. There is an NFL pension, tuition reimbursement, and other benefits. Also each player on the 53 man roster does receive 2 game tickets per home game.
2019 Rookie Base Salary: $495,000 per year or $29,118 per week.
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.
Playoffs: Will get additional weekly checks if team is in the playoffs.
Practice Squad: The maximum players allowed on a NFL teams practice squad is 10. A practice squad player can sign with any teams 53 man roster at any time and if signs with another team then its own the player is guaranteed 3 regular season game checks (Assuming there is 3 regular season games left).
2019 Practice Squad Pay: $8,000 a week or $136,000 a year.
Training Camp/Pre-Season Games: Weekly pay in 2019 is $1,150 for rookies.
Taxes: Will need to pay state income taxes in each state that a player plays in, so at the end of the season possible 9 state tax returns will need to be filled. Each state has a different state income tax rate and some states like Texas, Tennessee, Florida, Washington have no state income tax.
Tuesday During the NFL Season: Most teams Tuesday is the players off day, but also it is the day teams will bring in “street free-agents” to work out because of injuries the past week or to get a look at for the teams emergency list for future injuries.
Future Contracts: When people talk about future contract it an NFL team signing a player after the season so that the player can participate in OTA’s, Mini-Camps and then go to training camp with the team.
Agents: Agents can charge a maximum of 3%, on base salary as well as signing bonus, work out bonus, and roster bonus. But only get paid after the player gets paid. Also does not get a commission on practice squad weekly pay.
By Justin VanFulpen
The question always comes up from coaches, players, parents, agents, etc. – How does a player get invited to play in a game? I had an opportunity to be in charge of the personnel for all-star games and like all the other people in the all-star game business we are looking for the best player that will have an opportunity to get drafted. All-Star Games are talking to NFL scouts to see who they want to see in an all-star game, also they are hearing from agents, coaches who are recommending players both early and late in the invite process.
All-Star games are also looking at the spring grades from BLETSO and National to give them an idea of who as a whole the NFL likes as seniors when they speak with scouts. One of the big reasons that spring grades as so important when it comes to all-star games and the NFL combine.
Since the life blood of an all-star game is sponsorship and most sponsors are looking to get close to NFL players or be able to say that they are involved with NFL prospects without having to spend the top dollars to be an official NFL sponsor.
But what I always tell people asking that question that communication is key with the personnel directors of the game or their staff. Sometimes players will miss out on an opportunity to play in an all-star game because they don’t get back with an all-star game to let them know they are interested in playing in the game because they are waiting to get an invite to a “bigger” game.
Communicate with all the all-star games (Senior Bowl, East West Shrine, NFLPA, etc) and it doesn’t hurt to reach out to them via social media, email, phone, etc to get in front of them if you are not on their radar or even if you are it will strength your chance for an invite.
Since the Senior Bowl is by the far the number one all-star game they have the lead when it comes to what prospects go where. If a player gets invited to the Senior Bowl most of the time they are pulling out of whatever all-star game they are in and going to that game. Since that is the case and invites are kept close to the vest it causes all the other all-star games to continuously change their roster.
All-Star games start sending out invites in mid to late October and each game does it different as far as inviting players. Some email the player directly other will send the invite to the school and have the coaches give it to the players.
My advice to players is accept the invite when you get it and get it back to the game if then you get invited to a “bigger” game, just communicate with the game you had already accepted and just let them know in a timely manner so they can invite someone else.
By Justin VanFulpen
With the 2018 NFL Draft a month away here is the average amount of players drafted at each position over the past 5 years (2013-2017) and the highs and lows.
QB – Average amount drafted – 11.4 – High amount drafted 15 (2016) Low amount drafted 7 (2015)
RB– Average amount drafted – 21.6 – High amount drafted 26 (2017) Low amount drafted 19 (2014)
FB – Average amount drafted – 2.6 – High amount drafted 3 (2016,2015) Low amount drafted 2 (2014)
WR – Average amount drafted – 32.2 – High amount drafted 34 (2014,2015) Low amount drafted 28 (2013)
TE – Average amount drafted – 13.4 – High amount drafted 18 (2015) Low amount drafted 9 (2016)
OT – Average amount drafted – 20.2 – High amount drafted 26 (2015) Low amount drafted 16 (2017)
OG – Average amount drafted – 14.6 – High amount drafted 18 (2013) Low amount drafted 12 (2017)
C – Average amount drafted – 6.6 – High amount drafted 10 (2014) Low amount drafted 5 (2013,2015,2017)
DE – Average amount drafted – 23.6 – High amount drafted 30 (2013) Low amount drafted 17 (2016)
DT – Average amount drafted – 20.0 – High amount drafted 22 (2016) Low amount drafted 18 (2015)
LB – Average amount drafted – 32.4 – High amount drafted 37 (2015) Low amount drafted 27 (2013)
CB – Average amount drafted – 32.0 – High amount drafted 34 (2017) Low amount drafted 29 (2013)
S – Average amount drafted – 20.2 – High amount drafted 23 (2013,2017) 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 – 1.4 – High amount drafted 3 (2016) Low amount drafted 0 (2017)