Nov. 30, 2018

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: Nov. 24-30
This week on our blog, Succeed in Football, we discussed the success of shorter quarterbacks such as Mayfield, Brees and Wilson, asking several scouts if their performance (and the changes in NFL offenses) would dictate changes in what teams look for, especially in height.
Like few times when we've conducted an "Ask the Scouts" survey, we got a pretty unanimous response: a resounding yes. To one degree or another, all of them said their teams are more than open to passers that are around 6-feet tall. Here's what two scouts said.  
  • "I think height will always be a factor, but not as cut and dried as before. I think if you're shorter you're always going to have to check more boxes than someone with height, but now that
    Cleveland's Baker Mayfield has been instrumental in changing the way scouts think about the QB prototype.
    the path has been blazed with the success of those guys, scouts are more willing to look past than before."
  • "I think height is becoming less of an obstacle for a successful 6-foot QB thanks to the success of Russell Wilson and (Dallas') Dak Prescott, who were drafted in 3rd and 4th rounds. Baker Mayfield and (Chicago's) Mitch Trubisky draft position in first round was helped by their success. No longer did a QB have to be the classic 6-4 drop-back QB to be considered a first-round draft choice. I see a guy like (Chicago's) Chase Daniel and what he did at Missouri; he would be considered more valuable today with the new rules and spread offense and RPO offense that have spread from college to the NFL. Don't get me wrong; a 6-0 QB still had to have a rare trait to be considered in the first round, but NFL scouts' eyes have been opened to that possibility. Didn't matter how tall Baker Mayfield was. His ability to throw the deep ball accurately, his arm strength, and quick release and 'grit' made him a first-round pick. If Russell Wilson came out of college this year, he would be drafted higher."
For even more responses, make sure to check out today's blog post at Succeed in Football.

We won't know for sure how teams think about, and draft, quarterbacks in 2019 for about another six months. In the meantime, it's interesting to track the change in the game as they happen. Would San Diego State's Dan McGwire (1/16, 1991, Seahawks) , who stood 6-8, orLSU's JaMarcus Russell (1/1, 2007, Raiders), at 6-6, have been a first-rounder today? Maybe not.

In the meantime, here's a look at what else we saw, heard, read and said in the business of football this week.

Hey, financial professionals and wealth managers!: You're probably getting a lot of questions from budding draft prospects on the pre-draft process. It's possible you don't know all the answers, but need to find them quickly. Wanna find out a way to help them, show them you're invested, and know where to find the best resources? We recommend sending them a copy of our new book, Moving the Chains: A Parent's Guide to the NFL Draft Process. In less than 150 pages, we take the reader step by step through the process, covering everything from agent selection to the all-star game invitation process to what happens on draft weekend and everything in-between. We've even got interviews with parents from previous draft classes so readers will understand the questions to ask (and realize they aren't the only ones with those questions). For just $12.95, it's a great value and offers the kind of information you won't find anywhere else. Why not buy a box so you'll have them at the ready any time you meet with a parent or player? Or send them out to players when you're doing your prospecting? Our book is comprehensive, easy-to-read and concise, and it's mobile: it fits easily in a briefcase or backpack (or even stocking). And if you go to our Amazon link, you can even read the introduction and first chapter. Give it a look, and if you like what you read, please do us the favor of writing a brief review.
Attention NFL Scouts: Last year, when we debuted the ITL Top Draft Class Award, we didn't start polling for the award until February. This year, we're going to give scouts plenty more time to choose the team that had the most productive draft weekend last spring. Here's our tentative list of finalists; right now, it's just a rough list that we'll refine before we send out our final slate of candidates. As you know, the Saints were the runaway winners of our first-ever award for 2017. Also, this year, we'll be conducting our NFL Scouts Salary Survey for the second time, and we'll also send it out in January. We hope to have the results much earlier this year, well before the hirings and firings of April, May and June take place. It's another service we provide for some of the least appreciated people in the business, scouts and evaluators. Here's a look at last year's survey results. And remember: NFL scouts are eligible for complimentary accounts. Let us know if you'd like to get in.
Did you know?: When you order a player report from the ITL Scouting Department, you get more than just a professionally written review of the player that comes with strengths, weaknesses and a round projection. You also get a chance to get your client in the College Gridiron Showcase, of which ITL is a proud partner. All reports are shared with the Fort Worth event's co-founders, Craig Redd and Jose Jefferson. We've had several players already get their tickets punched for the game via the scouting report route, but there are still a few slots left. Don't miss this opportunity! Reports are just $100 plus tax. If that's not what you need, we can also give you round projections on players (five for $100 plus tax) or a complete look at any college team with round projections for all seniors and talented juniors ($125 plus tax). We're on the threshold of an investment of thousands of dollars and countless hours. Make sure you're putting that time and treasure somewhere with a reasonable chance of seeing some reward from it. Got questions? Hit us up. Knowing is always better than not knowing.
The CGS Scouting Workshop Presented by Inside the League: We have good news - the 2019 CGS Scouting Workshop is just over a month away. Better news: the registration link is finally up and running, so future NFL scouts and executives can now start registering by clicking here. Best news of all: Matt Manocherian of Sports Info Solutions has agreed to be one of our speakers. Matt will preview the CGS rosters from an analytics perspective and spotlight the players that might be a little off the radar, but that check all the boxes from a metrics point of view. We see it as a way to find the sleepers before the week begins, and get some insights into how the CGS roster was built. By the way - some of them might not be signed when they arrive in Fort Worth (are you listening, agents?). Members of the ITL family already know Matt from his keynote presentation at the 2017 ITL Combine Seminar as well as his participation in our scouting roundtable at the 2018 ITL Combine Seminar. He'll be joining Cowboys College Scouting Coordinator Chris Hall, whom we announced last week as another member of the workshop's speaker lineup. We've got more speakers we'll be announcing in the coming weeks; it's gonna be huge. Got questions? Got a speaker recommendation? Let us know.
Save the date(s): We've got two big events on the schedule that will be presented by Friends of ITL. First of them is tomorrow, when the TEST Football Academy holds its NFL Draft Open House tomorrow, Saturday, at 11 a.m. at its Martinsville, NJ, location. If you're in the business and in the neighborhood, stop in and say hi to Kevin and Ric. Meanwhile, Sure Sports will host an event for women in sports the Wednesday of the NFL Combine, the same day as the 10th annual ITL Combine Seminar. It's tentatively set for 4:30-6:30 p.m., and we at ITL are giving Sure Sports a hand in setting up a speaker. We're really excited about what's to come. Stay tuned for more details!
Rep Rumblings: This week, we had four reports brimming with recruiting buzz to go with the ITL Signings Grid, which grew to 22 names harvested from sources and NFLPA rolls in just the first week. On Monday, we had signing buzz on a top small-school corner and where he was headed, agency-wise (it proved to be true later this week). We also had signing buzz on two big-name offensive linemen and other scoop. Tuesday, we followed up with notes from Daytona Beach, Fla., site of this weekend's FCS National Bowl by Spiral, plus the latest signing buzz on three top offensive prospects from across the country. Wednesday, we looked at juniors: which ones were coming out, which ones were skipping their bowl games, and which firms they were slated to sign with (there were a few surprises). Thursday, we had news of an interesting (and unusual, for November) agency merger plus plenty of signing buzz and whispers. This time of year, our Rep Rumblings reports are crackling like a hickory fire. See what's smoking by checking out all our reports from 2018 here.
Next week: We've still got to wait a week for the biggest rivalry in college football ( don't @ me) to close the college football season. Still, there are enough teams that have closed up shop for the 2018 season that there will be a flurry of declarations for the NFL draft and signings this week. For that reason, we'll be spending almost all our time looking under every rock to find out the latest confirmed (and unconfirmed) info to stuff in the 2019 Signings Grid, which we debuted this week. Chasing down every lead and gathering all the buzz for the grid and our Rep Rumblings will be Job 1 this week, but then again, we're gonna have plenty of jobs. We will debut two features this week. One of them you know all about: the ITL All-Star Grid. We'll have all the invites from the five major games in one place, sorted by position, so our readers have a good look at what's still not filled. We'll also debut our ITL Trainers Board this week. We're excited about it - no longer will a player, agent, or other interested party have to have an ITL account to gather all the info about our combine prep partners. It's still a little rough and is missing plenty of information, but we're hoping to have it polished up and plugged in by Monday. Each entry will have space for contacts, packages, social media handles, and our short interviews with the trainers. Interested in being part of it? Let us know. At least our videos are finished: while some are still awaiting some finishing touches in production, we've got about a dozen on the ITL YouTube page. We're also running behind on a couple of features we promised long ago, the Agent Changes for the October-November cycle and the Agencies by Total Clients list. We'll keep trying. Also - if you suddenly lose access to the site this week, don't panic. You're still part of the ITL family; we're just behind on our billing with you and we need to get right. Know you need to fix your account? Email us. Speaking of access, if you're a first-year agent who's been enjoying the ITL Rising Contract Advisor Newsletter, access ended this week for non-subscribers. We want to keep working with you, and we know we can be a difference-maker for you. Please give us a shot. You'll continue to receive the newsletter four times a week, plus you'll have the keys to the undisputed best resource for people on the business side of the best sport in the world. And oh, by the way, if you're taking the MLB agent exam in January, we're hoping to have our updated practice exam ready within 2-3 weeks. It's gonna be a must-have for the baseball test the same way our football agent exam prep tools are. OK, that's enough reading. Get back to work. We know you have plenty to do, too. As always, we'd love to help lighten the load.

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
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