Jan. 4, 2019

This email is directed at anyone in the pro and college football business. Already a client? Here's a review of the week. Not a client? We'd love to have you aboard.
The Week in Football: Dec. 29-Jan. 4
Today, In our weekly blog, we took a look at eight players who've joined the '19 NFL Draft Class - Appalachian St. DC Clifton Duck, Duke OB Joe Giles- Harris, Central Florida DT Trysten Hill, Georgia OH Elijah Holyfi
Our scouts like Duke's Daniel Jones, though maybe not as much as other scouts. 
eld, Alabama OH Josh Jacobs, Utah St. TE Dax Raymond, Alabama DC Saivion Smith and Colorado St. WO Preston Williams - and passed along our scouts' views on where they will fit this April.

The ITL Scouting Department has 
written nearly 250 reports on top players who will be training, competing in all-star games, and attending the combine this winter and spring. The overwhelmingmajority are seniors, but we've done several juniors and redshirt sophomores, as well. Here's a look at seven more players who are heading to the league this spring, courtesy of our team.
  • Hakeem Butler, WO, Iowa St.: "Butler easily can slide into the second round" if he runs in the 4.4 range, wrote our scout, though he didn't see that kind of speed on tape. Our guy called him a "borderline early-entry guy," but we still see him as a third-rounder.
  • Nate Herbig, OG, Stanford: We see him as a third-rounder. "The 334 pounds looks like it could tighten up a little bit," our scout wrote, "but he plays light and quick, in my opinion. . . Stanford OL usually come with great work habits, smarts and toughness."
  • Daniel Jones, QB, Duke: Though some pundits are calling him a top-five pick -- and he may indeed rise that high given teams' needs for a QB -- our guys were not huge fans. "I like his size, easy motion, catchable ball and movement skills," reads our report. "I don't like his spraying the ball around, not reading double coverages and poor footwork, as well as his inconsistent blitz reads and inaccurate throws.  Accuracy is hard to fix." Fourth round.
  • Dawson Knox, TE, Mississippi: This is an interesting player that teams could fall in love with; our scout even compared him to 49ers sensation George Kittle. "Best football is ahead of him; still growing into the position," wrote our scout. "Because of intelligence and intangibles, will work his way onto the field quickly." We see his floor as the fourth round, but second round could happen. 
  • Dillon Mitchell, WO, Oregon: Mitchell has height, speed and acceleration, all exciting attributes in a wide receiver. However, he needs to work on his strength and thicken up while improving his ability to get off the LOS and find the opening in zones. We see him as a third or a real value as a fourth-rounder. 
  • Irv Smith, Jr., TE, Alabama: It's a crowded tight end class already, but the needle is pointing up for Smith. "To break into the first round, he will need to test very well in Indy (which he could do)," our scout wrote. Right now, we see him as an early second-rounder.
  • Joejuan Williams, DC, Vanderbilt: "Williams will not fit all schemes, but the ones he does he will be coveted," wrote our scout. We see him as a third- or fourth-rounder.
Though it's been a busy 2018, we're still rolling, with 10 more reports on members of the '19 class commissioned this week. We expect dozens more. Our reports remain $100 plus tax, and we can turn them around in 3-4 days (we've expanded our team to meet demand). Don't take any chances on working with a player (even if you're not providing training!) unless you're absolutely sure of what you have. Contact us today and let's get to work.
In the meantime, here's a look at what we saw, heard, read and said in the business of college and pro football this week.
2019 College Gridiron Showcase: It's here! We'll be in Fort Worth for the next week for the fifth CGS. Today, check-in will take place for the Pro Gridiron Showcase, which is scheduled for Saturday afternoon at McNair Stadium. Saturday morning, we'll host the second annual CGS Scouting Workshop Presented by Inside the League ( registration still available). Our speakers will include Cowboys Assistant Director of College Scouting Chris Hall and Matt Manocherian of Sports Info Solutions, the official analytics partner of the CGS. Chris will talk about scouting, how he got started, and where the business is going, while Matt will preview some of the players in Fort Worth (and in the '19 draft class) that look like future risers, based on the numbers. Players on the Wranglers and Desperadoes rosters will also begin check-in. The Small-School Showcase will take place on Sunday, along with a seven-hour block for interviews with NFL scouts with selected players. Monday morning is for Wranglers weigh-ins and first workouts for both the Wranglers and Desperadoes. Tuesday morning, the Desperadoes step on the scale and both teams work out. Finally, on Wednesday, both teams have final practices, plus the Regulators (kickers, punters and long-snappers) will practice.
Still looking for things to do?: Of course, that's not all that's happening in the Metroplex and South Texas. The 2019 AFCA Convention kicks off Sunday in San Antonio, just a few hours from Fort Worth, and of course, there's a little game going on just down the road from CGS Central Saturday night. If you're into football, you need to be in Texas this week. We hope you'll join us!
We got a race: In the coming week, ballots will go out to all active NFL scouts for the Best NFL Draft 2018 Award. All NFL evaluators will get a chance to decide who picks up the second annual award, which went to New Orleans last year. And while the Saints' selection was a no-brainer last year, it's very different this year. Will scouts vote for the Colts, who just had two rookies (OG Quenton Nelson and IB Darius Leonard) named first-team All-Pro picks since 1965? Will they select the Browns, who saw QB Baker Mayfield, DC Denzel Ward and OH Nick Chubb vault the team from winless in 2017 to the brink of the playoffs in 2018? Will it be the Giants, who drafted a generational talent in OH Saquon Barkley? Or how about the Bears, who nailed picks on both sides of the ball, or the Broncos, who hit at the top (DE Bradley Chubb) and bottom (OH Phillip Lindsay) of the draft? If you're an NFL scout, give it some thought. You'll be getting a chance to vote - ANONYMOUSLY, don't worry -- very soon. It's the only scouting award decided on by scouts, and we're excited to host it. And oh, by the way: our scouting survey will be part of the email (and again, it's anonymous). In all, we've got 13 questions we'll ask people in the game to answer, and we hope you'll take two minutes (literally) out of your schedule to help us help you. We take this very seriously and want to do the most thorough job we can.
Rep Rumblings: Of all the weeks of the year, the first week of the year is the most action-packed and information-filled of all 52 because of the decisions that are being made and the futures that are being decided. This year was no different. We kicked the week off on Sunday, given the wealth of information and urgency of the season. The news wasn't all good, as we discussed the 'new normal' as it comes to first-rounders, based on the buzz we've been hearing over the last month.  We also cleared up the combine invitation process (we've been getting a lot of questions), and had several tips and updates on signings and player intentions. On New Year's Eve, we looked at the Raiders' hiring of Mike Mayock and what it means, and had the latest on the vetting process for Duke's Daniel Jones, Iowa State's Hakeem Butler, Georgia's DeAndre Baker and several others. On New Year's, we discussed our difficulty in running down one celebrated Horned Frog's agent (and the dissatisfaction some agents are feeling toward TCU these days) and had the latest speculation on where several Clemson players will land. Wednesday, we looked at players at Oklahoma, Penn State and LSU and weighed in on their desires to leave early for the draft. In addition, we looked at the brother of a (presume) top pick and how he might impact agent selection. As usual, we also had updates on the processes for several players that figure to go on the first two days of the draft. On Thursday, we looked at the first scouting defection of the 2019 NFL Draft season, as well as a CFL scout who'll be on the all-star trail for a new team this year. We also took note of an impressive new practice by Senior Bowl Executive Director Jim Nagy and looked at the latest rumors and intentions for several draft prospects. Finally, this morning, we had wall-to-wall buzz on players in all four corners of the country. If you haven't been reading, you need to. Click here to get started. Not a subscriber? Click here first.
2019 Signings Grid: It's pretty simple. We have 300 signings already, which outpaces anything we've done before. We've got confirmed agents for 44 juniors (about half of those that have declared), about half the Senior Bowl roster, and dozens of players slated for the Shrine Game, NFLPA game or no game at all. We've also got training destinations for a growing number of players and we're even starting to confirm combine invites. We've updated it (at least once) each day for the past week and we we'll be piling even more names, training, games and everything else onto our big board next week. It's the place everyone in the game goes this time of year to find out who's winning, who's losing and who's playing. Check out what's happening in the business here.
No newsletters for a while: This week, we wrapped up the ITL Rising Contract Advisors Newsletter for the next four weeks. We'll be out shaking hands, meeting people and making connections (as well as gathering information), which limits our time to put out our daily best practices edition. We'll be back in February, promise. In the meantime, for those of our clients who have grown used to receiving it each morning, nothing is wrong, and we'll be back. For those new contract advisors that are looking for a few pointers now that we're in the thick of signing season, come aboard! We'll get you the info you need, including our past newsletters, and get you on the list when we rev things up again next month.
Next week: It's simple. For the next week, we'll be in Fort Worth (through Wednesday) and Daytona Beach (Thursday, Friday and Saturday). Naturally, though we'll be on the sidelines and in the lobbies where the business of the game is taking place, we'll keep up the pace on the ITL side. We'll have daily Rep Rumblings, Signings Grid updates and All-Star Grid additions. We'll also have our weekly blog, rosters with agents from the CGS and Tropical Bowl, and we'll begin surveying NFL scouts (anonymously) on their salaries and which team they think did best on Draft Day 2018. If you're not already on board, we hope we don't have to twist your arm to get you to join us.

Inside The League is the consulting service for the football industry. We work with the contract advisors for about two-thirds of active NFL players as well as the combine trainers, financial planners, scouts, coaches and other pro league organizers that make up the game. Cost is $29.95/month, and you can cancel at any time. To register, click here. Also check out our new free blog, Succeed in Football. Copyright Neil Stratton and ITL 2015.

Sincerely, Neil Stratton
Inside the League

Features & Grids
2018 Rep Rumblings
2018 Draft by Pick
Stay Connected
Inside the League | 832-443-3350 | nstratton@insidetheleague.com | http://www.insidetheleague.com