Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Interview with Greg

Tell us a little about yourself.   How did you get started being an NFL agent?  Did you play football growing up?

Lets’ see, a little about me. Well first of all I am Awesome. I am a graduate of the University of Kentucky, but live in Louisville. Pretty down to earth, yet very opinionated, and I have a tendency to wear my emotions on my sleeve sometimes, as my followers already know.  I played football at DuPont Manual High School in Louisville. I was pretty good. Heavily recruited my junior year, broke my leg my senior year and most of the schools backed off. I still had some Div 1AA and some VERY small div 1 schools after me, but decided to go to Kentucky as a walk on. I wanted to get the best education possible because I knew I would never make it to the NFL.

I started off representing basketball players, mainly overseas and in the WNBA. Football is my passion so I knew if I was going to pursue being an agent; this is where I wanted to focus to be. And also I seen a lot of my friends being taken advantage of by agents and decided I wanted to make a difference. I was a “Financial Institution Specialist” with the FDIC, and one morning I woke up, decided I wanted to do this full time, so I prayed, and took a leap of faith. And here I am.

Who are some of the players you represent?

In the NFL there’s John Conner, Corey Peters, Aaron Morgan, and Alfonso Smith.

What is the process you go through before attempting to sign a player?  Do you watch film? Speak with coaches?

First step is just like everyone else. I get spring grades and see which prospects scouts have identified. And then I go to the next stage which is my own individual analyst of players from what I may have seen or heard. I also take recommendations as well. Then I get film and scout the players myself. I use to be a talent scout for an agency, so I kind of know a little about evaluating talent if I say so. Lol…
I do not talk with coaches about players. I do not want to waste their time, and if you are not “their” guy they are not too willing to help an agent out anyway. So I tend to stay away from them. This is a practice that has hurt me, but it’s one I think I will continue to do.

How many days in a year are you on the road?  Did you ever figure out how many airline miles you’ve traveled in a year?

Hadn’t figured out the mileage yet but I would think it was a lot. Maybe on the road every weekend from September to January. Then it’s pretty much just taking care of my guys until the summer and hopefully can get some preliminary meetings with some seniors. 

Read the Rest

Monday, April 25, 2011

Adam "Don't call me Abe" Froman

When I first started this blog, I agreed I would not use it to promote my players, but rather just provide some insight from this side of the fence in this topsy turvy world of athletes, agents, scouts, draft experts, and teams. However, recently there has been a lot of buzz around one of my clients, (both good and bad), QB Adam Froman.
Before a groin injury sidelined him the last 5 games, Adam was doing a good job running the University of Louisville's run first offense. To the average fan, Adam was just that, average. But to those who really knew football, and have the insight and ability to analyze film, Adam was a legit prospect. I spoke to one scout this weekend who told me, "Adam could be a guy in a couple of years who people will say, How did he go so late in the draft, or not even drafted". He doesn't have the fan fare among most draftniks and fans that a lot of other prospects have. But when you break down his film and stats, you can see he clearly stacks up and deserves the buzz he is receiving. Contributing to this buzz, are some of the most respected people in the draftnik world including, Dave Razzano, Wes Bunting, Rob Rang, Matt Waldman, Joseph Healy, and most recently Doug Farrar, and Chad Reuter. Not a bad list to be associated with.

His football intelligence is off the charts. And has the ability to understand defenses, and game time situations. In JUCO, Adam passed for almost 4,000 yards, 40 touchdowns, and only 10 interceptions. Against any competition, that is impressive, and you don't get a 4 to 1 td to int ratio by being a dumb quarterback.

Even still, it wasn't until Froman showed off all his tools at Louisville's pro day that teams started to check back in with him. He displayed a better-than-average arm while completing 33 of 35 passes with 1 drop, Including a beautiful 50 yard in the air throw that landed over the shoulder in stride of the wide receiver. In addition to his arm, there was his athleticism. He ran the 40-yard dash in an official low time of 4.54 seconds, an L cone time of 6.80, and running the short shuttle in 4.16 seconds. Impressive numbers for a guy who is a legit 6'4" and 220 pounds.

Lets see how he matches up with some other quarterbacks this year:

Froman - 6'4" 220 lbs, 4.55 40 yd dash, 4.16 pro agility, 6.80 L cone
Locker – 6'3" 231 lbs, 4.50 40 yd dash, 4.12 pro agility, 6.77 L cone
Ponder – 6'2" 229 lbs, 4.63 40 yd dash, 4.09 pro agility, 6.85 L cone
Johnson - 6'5" 245 lbs, 4.75 40 yd dash
Van Camp - 6'6" 222 lbs, 4.83 40 yd dash, 4.18 pro agility, 6.87 L cone
Weber - 6'3" 221 lbs, 4.75 40 yd dash, 4.45 pro agility, 7.37 L cone
Mustain - 6'2" 200 lbs, 4.75 40 yrd dash

The impressive part is, and I've said this plenty of times, those that knock a quarter back  for measurable statistics, should consider why they are doing it, or if it is even valid. Don't say a guy is inaccurate yet is similar to a guy that you are praising. Now I am not saying Adam is a first round quarterback, but he does match up well against 2 potential first rounders as well as some late round prospects. (*denotes 7 games started)

 *ADAM FROMAN – Louisville – 136.5 efficiency, 60.6 comp %, 11 td and 4 int. (2.75 – 1)
Jake Locker –            Washington – 124.2 efficiency, 55.4 comp.%, 17 td - 9 int. (1.88 – 1)
Christian Ponder -     Florida State-  135.7 efficiency, 61.5 comp %, 20 td – 8 int (2.5 – 1)
*Jarrod Johnson -        Texas A&M - 125.5 efficiency, 56.6 comp.%, 14 td - 9 int (1.55 – 1)
Jeff Van Camp  -       FAU -             128   efficiency, 57.3 comp %, 17 td - 13 int (1.3 – 1)
Adam Weber -           Minnesota -    129.9 efficiency, 55.7 comp %, 20 td - 9 int, (2.22 – 1)
Mitch Mustain -         USC - 98.0 efficiency, 56.2 comp %,  1 td , 1 int

When evaluating guys, it's easy to have a tendency to look down upon guys that you do not have that much information on. But with a little research, you can compare and contrast guys side by side. Then when you look on film, rather than look for what guys can't do, start looking at what they can do, and go from there. No one in the draft is a finished product, everyone can use a little coaching, a good scout/evaluator looks at not only what a guy is, but what he can be as well. And if that's the case, there just may be something to all this Adam Froman Hype…

Check out his YouTube Highlights

Monday, April 18, 2011

Guess Who I just seen at the Airport!!!

We now have 10 days until the 2011 NFL DRAFT. This is the final days were teams can bring players in on official visits. But before you get excited, you should realize that everyone your team brings in is not on your team's draft board. There are five types of visits in my opinion. And figuring out where this player stands is the most important piece to tell if your team is interested.
The first type of visit is the "They are interested in drafting me" visit. This is usually reserved for the projected 1st through 4th round players. Teams will bring them in to get to know them better because they are genuinely interested in sending that players name to the podium at the end of the month. They may even bring them in with other players at your position to try and find something that will separate the players besides what is on the field. If the player is outside that range but still goes on a visit. Ask yourself did the team personally work the player out. If they worked him out then brought him in, they may be high on this player and he is on their board at some point.
The next visit is the "They like me, but don't LIKE me visit". Despite the name, this isn't such a bad visit. This visit is reserved for a team to basically recruit you for a free agent contract after the draft. Whether the reason being, they don't have enough draft picks, there are other pressing needs that they have to fill, or that there is a disagreement within the organization. Whatever the reason, these players are draftable players  on other team's boards, just not on your teams. But someone within the organization is high on this guy, and believe they can make the team as an UDFA.
Next we have the, "They just don't know me" visit. These visits are for guys who may have came out of nowhere their senior year, or played at a small school, and teams are scrambling to gather as much information about these guys as possible. Again, this visit could be a chance for the team to sell you to other members of the organization or to sell you on the prospect of joining their team as an UDFA.
"I feel like I'm being interrogated" is our next class of visits. These visits are information gathering visits. You may have an injury, and they want to do a physical. Or they heard rumors of drug use, and want to give you a test. Maybe you can't understand plays, so they draw them on the board. Or maybe, (and yes this has happened) they are bringing you in to ask you about your teammate. Yes, this does happen. They're not really interested in you, but your teammate, so they wine and dine you for information.
The last visit is the "Smokescreen". They are not interested in you plain and simple. But they bring the guy in so someone else can think they are interested in that player, and trade up or overdraft, or whatever they do. Why? Just so the team won't tip they're hand in who they are going to draft.
I hope this gave some kind of insight to visits and why agents don't get to excited over some, or depressed over lack of some. If you like, let me know, dislike, let me know too.
Until tomorrow… "May you not only be blessed, but a blessing to others as well"

Sunday, April 17, 2011

Allow me to reintroduce myself

For those that do not know me, my name is Greg "Tripp" Linton.  A former intern, scout, talent evaluator, and now NFLPA CERTIFIED agent with HOF Player Representatives. If you are reading this post, you probably follow me on twitter, and have somewhat of an understanding of who I am. If you don't, then buckle up and enjoy the ride. And again, WELCOME to my world.
We have less than 11 days until the 2011 NFL DRAFT. And due to the current state of the business that is the NFL (CBA), this should be one of the most unpredictable and entertaining drafts that I can remember. This is around the time when a lot of wrong information will fill the internet and find its way into every fans mock draft, and assessment of a prospect. Believe what you want and be careful of the things you decide to soak in. The thing that has me kind of hot right now are some of the people who write these reports. I understand they are just doing their job, and I respect a few, and I am friends with even more. But there are some things that I do not like that a lot of them do. And while agents should not be worried about this, a lot of us do read what is said, and do get upset about some of the comments.  
 If you have not seen a prospect, don't judge the player. I never understood how someone can judge a player that they have never even seen, whether it's good or bad. I would rather them say I haven't seen them. (Which a lot do and I commend them for this) Second hand information is also a bad source. Most agents are very involved with their clients, and will give you any information you made need, if you just ask. By being a former player, scout, and evaluator, I tend to know a lot about not only my clients, but many others as well.
Just for a background. Last season, I had a player that 12 "Draft Experts" (ones I polled) said was a late round prospect, and I should be happy if he was drafted in the sixth round. And that he would be nothing more than a spot player in the defense.  There were two however who said they could see the player going fourth round, and that he had some skill. Well the player ended up drafted in the third round. But still because of what was written was dogged and there were players available that were light years better. All this player did was go on to be a starter for a team that finished 13-3.
The point is, there are many reasons why players are hyped, and reasons why some or not. I can't tell you what to believe and what not to believe, all I can say is do your homework and remember, A good college player, doesn't always mean a good NFL player.
Until Tomorrow… Be Easy World… May You not only be blessed, but a blessing to others as well.