Wed, Apr 23, 2014
THREE WEEKS: GAME PLAN FOR THE FIRST THREE ROUNDS
FOUR WEEKS: FOUR COMPONENTS TEAMS USE TO BUILD DRAFT BOARD
FIVE WEEKS: FIVE PITFALLS TO AVOID ON DRAFT DAY
SIX WEEKS: SIX GUIDELINES TO ENSURE A SOLID DRAFT
SEVEN WEEKS: SEVEN CORNERSTONE POSITIONS YOU NEED TOP TALENT
Though this has been the longest 'pre-draft process' in the history of mankind, we sit about two weeks away from the start of the NFL Draft and there are still a couple items NFL clubs need to do.
First, each club needs to take care of some housekeeping. This is where the teams go back and make sure they have all of the correct phone numbers and contact information for each potential draftee and their agent. Also, you have to make sure you've filled in all of the blanks on the players that were 'non-Combine' participants -- players that were off the radar. Do we need one more workout on a potential draftee, or one last 40 time on a prospect?
The free agent recruiting process also will keep teams busy a couple weeks prior to the draft. In college football it's 90 percent recruiting and 10 percent evaluations. In pro football, it's 90 percent evaluations and 10 percent recruiting. And that recruiting takes place right now. Scouts are assigned different positions and different players and they go tell these players, 'if want to draft you, but if we aren't able to draft you for some reason, we would like to sign you to a free agent contract.' Free agency will be almost like the 8th, 9th and 10th rounds because with 98 juniors declaring for the draft, there are a lot of talented players out there who will go undrafted.
The second really important item to cross off the list two weeks from the draft -- after the housekeeping -- is communicating everything that you've done and all of your plans for the draft with ownership. You need to make sure the owner is on board with the game plan and signs off on it. This usually will include a couple of phone conversations and then ultimately a face-to-face meeting the week before the NFL Draft.