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Steinberg: Taking on the NFL Draft

April 20, 2013|By Leigh Steinberg

The most anxiety-fueled, suspenseful, nerve-wracking, emotional and ultimately explosively joyful day of the year is coming this week for anyone who represents prospects for this year's National Football League Draft.

The long "second season" of All-Star games, the scouting combine, pro scouting days on campus, and individualized interactions which constitute postseason scouting are done. NFL teams have compiled a draft board which lists their assessment of every potentially draftable player by an overall rating number and then by position.

They have run through computer simulations showing them every possible permutation of what players will be available round by round when it is their turn to draft. Debates over who to pick largely occur prior to draft day, because teams will have only 10 minutes in the first round and five minutes in every other to announce selections.

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Considerable information exchange has been going on between office, our key front office personnel and myself in the last few weeks. We are attempting to assuage any last minute concerns a team may have about a player, the team wants to draft a player who is happy to be coming. The quality of that information has improved over the years to the point that I can reliably prepare a player for which teams are most likely to take him. We run through every possible scenario, trying to anticipate every outcome. Proper preparation of a player and his family can prevent anger, humiliation or embarrassment from erupting on the day itself, with dashed expectations turning real triumph into perceived failure.

Watching quarterbacks like Brady Quinn and Matt Leinart agonize on live television when they were drafted far below where they were projected was painful.

The anticipated day arrives, and most players watch it at home surrounded by their families and friends. It is important for an agent to try and share that experience with as many clients as possible, and certainly to stay in constant phone contact with those in another location.

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