The Draft: A Year Inside the NFL's Search for Talent

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9780312354398: The Draft: A Year Inside the NFL's Search for Talent

An explosive look at the NFL Draft from the inside out that exposes the multilayered feeding frenzy that swarms around America's top college players.

The Draft follows a handful of NFL hopefuls through the ups and downs of the 2004 college football season and the predraft process, culminating with the 2005 draft. Among the prospects are Virginia defensive end Chris Canty, who overcomes a devastating early-season knee injury to reestablish himself as a top draft hopeful, only to suffer a detached retina in a nightclub skirmish; and Fred Gibson, a talented but rail-thin Georgia wide receiver who struggles to put on the weight needed to go over the middle in the NFL.
It's a complex environment, with college coaches attempting to protect their "student-athletes" from exploitation (while fully aware that they can only remain competitive if they attract NFL-caliber players to their schools), along with sports agents and NFL scouts trying to stay a step ahead of their competition.
These parties provide a multi-angled view of the world of emerging NFL talent. The reader follows the season through the eyes of a host of power players and scouts, from veteran agent Pat Dye Jr. to Jerry Maguire clone Jack Scharf, to the coaching divisions of Florida State University and the University of Virginia---headed by longtime Bill Parcells disciple Al Groh. Also central to the narrative are the Atlanta Falcons and executives Rich McKay and Tim Ruskell (now with Seattle), who use a character-based evaluation system to set their draft board. These parallel stories weave together, culminating in draft weekend, to create a gripping and fascinating look at a world few see from the inside.

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About the Author:

Pete Williams has written about the business of sports for such publications as USA Today and Street and Smith's Sports Business Journal. He is the author or coauthor of numerous books, including the five-book Core Performance fitness franchise (with Mark Verstegen), the business motivational book Fun Is Good (with Mike Veeck). He's also the author of Obstacle Fit, a book on training for obstacle races. Williams lives in Central Florida.

Excerpt. © Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved.:

Chapter One First Contacts Ed Hawthorne and Ed Walsh looked at the young football agent sitting across the table from them and chuckled. Jack Scharf seemed right out of central casting. With a lantern jaw, bleached-white teeth, and jelled dark hair, he looked like a taller Tom Cruise. The forty-five-hundred-dollar, custom-tailored Armani suit, cuff links and white monogrammed shirt he wore covered a lean physique, shaved to accentuate the muscles. Scharf’s rented Jaguar XJ8 sat outside Walsh’s law office in New Haven, Connecticut. "Say it, Jack," Hawthorne said. Scharf shook his head. "C’mon guys." Hawthorne raised an eyebrow. "Jack?" "All right," Scharf said, taking a deep breath. "Show me the money." Walsh and Hawthorne laughed. "Not bad," Hawthorne said. "Louder." "Show Me the Money!" Scharf yelled, channeling Cruise. "Show... Me... the... Mon-ey!" The Eds cackled. It was early September 2004, and Scharf was among the first agents to make a presentation in the hopes of representing Hawthorne’s nephew, Anttaj, a 312-pound defensive tackle at the University of Wisconsin, for the 2005 NFL Draft. There was little resemblance between Ed and Anttaj. Walsh, the family attorney, liked to greet agents in a conference room first and then introduce Ed Hawthorne to gauge the response. Most agents showed little reaction, though the recruiting process did have its amusing moments. Whenever agents reached Anttaj on his cell phone in Wisconsin, he directed them to Uncle Ed. One agent called Uncle Ed and immediately dealt the race card. "You know, Ed," the agent said. "All of our brothers are coming out of the NFL today and they’re broke. Why? Because of the white agents, that’s why; and I’m here to make sure that doesn’t happen to ’Taj." Hawthorne paused. "Do you realize I’m white?" Ed’s sister, Eileen, had raised her biracial son alone. "Well, you know," the agent said after an awkward pause, "I’ve got white family, too." That agent never got a meeting with the Eds, who vetted potential representatives for Anttaj, allowing him to spend his senior season focused on football and not on who might guide him through the NFL Draft in April. The Eds liked what they saw of Jack Scharf, who beneath the slick, Jerry Maguire veneer had, at thirty-five, established himself as a legitimate player in the brutal world of football agents. He had flown from his office in San Antonio to New Haven armed with binders full of spreadsheets and contract information, showing how his company—Momentum Sports—had skillfully landed contracts for its clients at better than the market rate. Scharf’s presentation included testimonials from clients such as Nick Barnett, a linebacker drafted in the first round out of Oregon State by the Green Bay Packers in 2003. There were DVDs outlining the marketing efforts Momentum would undertake on behalf of Anttaj, and the trainers the company would employ to get Anttaj ready for the February NFL scouting combine in Indianapolis, where draft hopefuls are tested physically and psychologically by NFL teams. The Eds flipped through Scharf’s literature. His clients from the previous year were a mix of third- and fourth-round selections, though the Denver Broncos selected Tatum Bell, a running back from Oklahoma State, in the second round. "You do all of this for a third-round pick?" Hawthorne asked. Anttaj Hawthorne was considered, at this early stage, a likely first-round choice. "Absolutely," Scharf said. The meeting, which had begun late in the afternoon, continued for three hours. At this early juncture, the Eds had met with only a few agents and were still in the information-gathering stage, learning how contracts were negotiated and what the process leading up to the NFL Draft entailed. In the coming weeks, the Eds would investigate Scharf and the rest of the agents they interviewed. They would start on the Internet, searching through Google, and follow up with calls to the NFL Players Association to determine if any agents had been disciplined or engaged in unethical activity. For now, they liked what they saw of Jack Scharf—or "Show Me," as they would call him throughout Walsh’s firm. The ladies in the office would become fond of Show Me, though the older ones tended to prefer Tom Condon, the former Kansas City Chiefs lineman-turned-lawyer and agent, who, at fifty-two, looked like an older version of Jack Scharf. NFL playing experience was the least of the advantages Condon held over Scharf, a graduate of UCLA and the Southwestern University School of Law in Los Angeles, who had been a licensed NFL agent for less than three years. As head of the football division for the International Management Group (IMG), the world’s largest sports agency, Condon was the most powerful agent in football, with a lengthy list of clients that included Indianapolis Colts quarterback Peyton Manning and his brother Eli, who had been the top pick in the 2004 draft. Condon also was a New Haven native whose high school, Notre Dame of West Haven, was a rival of Anttaj’s Hamden High. Condon had scored a July meeting with the Eds that included Anttaj, who had not yet returned to Wisconsin. For now, Condon was the leader in the race to secure Anttaj, though the Eds had other agents to interview. There would be more to learn about contracts, marketing, and the NFL draft process. But as they said good-bye to Jack Scharf, sending him on his way in the Jaguar XJ8, they concluded that "Show Me" definitely was in the running. On a late afternoon in mid-September, Pat Dye Jr. looked out the window of his sixteenth-floor office overlooking Lenox Square in Atlanta’s upscale Buckhead district. Already the city’s notorious traffic was beginning to thicken on the surrounding arteries. Though it was just a week after Labor Day, the recruiting season for the 2005 NFL Draft was well underway, and already Dye knew his ProFiles Sports Management firm was in a dogfight for talent in its own backyard. The son of the former longtime Auburn football coach, Pat Dye Jr. had over the previous seventeen years parlayed a childhood spent around college football and his dad’s vast network of connections into a lucrative agent practice. Now Dye Jr. and his business partner, Bill Johnson, represented forty NFL players, nearly all of which attended college in the southeast. Almost half of their clients had played at Auburn or the University of Georgia, located an hour away in Athens. Atlanta had become a popular base of operations for sports agents. The NFL Players Association counted forty-seven registered agents from greater Atlanta. Most of the schools in the football-rich Southeastern Conf

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Descripción GRIFFIN, 2007. Paperback. Estado de conservación: New. Reprint. Language: English . Brand New Book. An explosive look at the NFL Draft from the inside out that exposes the multilayered feeding frenzy that swarms around America s top college players. The Draft follows a handful of NFL hopefuls through the ups and downs of the 2004 college football season and the predraft process, culminating with the 2005 draft. Among the prospects are Virginia defensive end Chris Canty, who overcomes a devastating early-season knee injury to reestablish himself as a top draft hopeful, only to suffer a detached retina in a nightclub skirmish; and Fred Gibson, a talented but rail-thin Georgia wide receiver who struggles to put on the weight needed to go over the middle in the NFL. It s a complex environment, with college coaches attempting to protect their student-athletes from exploitation (while fully aware that they can only remain competitive if they attract NFL-caliber players to their schools), along with sports agents and NFL scouts trying to stay a step ahead of their competition. These parties provide a multi-angled view of the world of emerging NFL talent. The reader follows the season through the eyes of a host of power players and scouts, from veteran agent Pat Dye Jr. to Jerry Maguire clone Jack Scharf, to the coaching divisions of Florida State University and the University of Virginia---headed by longtime Bill Parcells disciple Al Groh. Also central to the narrative are the Atlanta Falcons and executives Rich McKay and Tim Ruskell (now with Seattle), who use a character-based evaluation system to set their draft board. These parallel stories weave together, culminating in draft weekend, to create a gripping and fascinating look at a world few see from the inside. Nº de ref. de la librería AAS9780312354398

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Descripción GRIFFIN, 2007. Paperback. Estado de conservación: New. Reprint. Language: English . Brand New Book. An explosive look at the NFL Draft from the inside out that exposes the multilayered feeding frenzy that swarms around America s top college players. The Draft follows a handful of NFL hopefuls through the ups and downs of the 2004 college football season and the predraft process, culminating with the 2005 draft. Among the prospects are Virginia defensive end Chris Canty, who overcomes a devastating early-season knee injury to reestablish himself as a top draft hopeful, only to suffer a detached retina in a nightclub skirmish; and Fred Gibson, a talented but rail-thin Georgia wide receiver who struggles to put on the weight needed to go over the middle in the NFL. It s a complex environment, with college coaches attempting to protect their student-athletes from exploitation (while fully aware that they can only remain competitive if they attract NFL-caliber players to their schools), along with sports agents and NFL scouts trying to stay a step ahead of their competition. These parties provide a multi-angled view of the world of emerging NFL talent. The reader follows the season through the eyes of a host of power players and scouts, from veteran agent Pat Dye Jr. to Jerry Maguire clone Jack Scharf, to the coaching divisions of Florida State University and the University of Virginia---headed by longtime Bill Parcells disciple Al Groh. Also central to the narrative are the Atlanta Falcons and executives Rich McKay and Tim Ruskell (now with Seattle), who use a character-based evaluation system to set their draft board. These parallel stories weave together, culminating in draft weekend, to create a gripping and fascinating look at a world few see from the inside. Nº de ref. de la librería AAS9780312354398

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Descripción GRIFFIN, 2007. Paperback. Estado de conservación: New. Reprint. Language: English . This book usually ship within 10-15 business days and we will endeavor to dispatch orders quicker than this where possible. Brand New Book. An explosive look at the NFL Draft from the inside out that exposes the multilayered feeding frenzy that swarms around America s top college players. The Draft follows a handful of NFL hopefuls through the ups and downs of the 2004 college football season and the predraft process, culminating with the 2005 draft. Among the prospects are Virginia defensive end Chris Canty, who overcomes a devastating early-season knee injury to reestablish himself as a top draft hopeful, only to suffer a detached retina in a nightclub skirmish; and Fred Gibson, a talented but rail-thin Georgia wide receiver who struggles to put on the weight needed to go over the middle in the NFL. It s a complex environment, with college coaches attempting to protect their student-athletes from exploitation (while fully aware that they can only remain competitive if they attract NFL-caliber players to their schools), along with sports agents and NFL scouts trying to stay a step ahead of their competition. These parties provide a multi-angled view of the world of emerging NFL talent. The reader follows the season through the eyes of a host of power players and scouts, from veteran agent Pat Dye Jr. to Jerry Maguire clone Jack Scharf, to the coaching divisions of Florida State University and the University of Virginia---headed by longtime Bill Parcells disciple Al Groh. Also central to the narrative are the Atlanta Falcons and executives Rich McKay and Tim Ruskell (now with Seattle), who use a character-based evaluation system to set their draft board. These parallel stories weave together, culminating in draft weekend, to create a gripping and fascinating look at a world few see from the inside. Nº de ref. de la librería BZE9780312354398

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Descripción St. Martin's Griffin. Paperback. Estado de conservación: New. Paperback. 360 pages. Dimensions: 10.0in. x 6.1in. x 1.0in.An explosive look at the NFL Draft from the inside out that exposes the multilayered feeding frenzy that swarms around Americas top college players. The Draft follows a handful of NFL hopefuls through the ups and downs of the 2004 college football season and the predraft process, culminating with the 2005 draft. Among the prospects are Virginia defensive end Chris Canty, who overcomes a devastating early-season knee injury to reestablish himself as a top draft hopeful, only to suffer a detached retina in a nightclub skirmish; and Fred Gibson, a talented but rail-thin Georgia wide receiver who struggles to put on the weight needed to go over the middle in the NFL. Its a complex environment, with college coaches attempting to protect their student-athletes from exploitation (while fully aware that they can only remain competitive if they attract NFL-caliber players to their schools), along with sports agents and NFL scouts trying to stay a step ahead of their competition. These parties provide a multi-angled view of the world of emerging NFL talent. The reader follows the season through the eyes of a host of power players and scouts, from veteran agent Pat Dye Jr. to Jerry Maguire clone Jack Scharf, to the coaching divisions of Florida State University and the University of Virginia---headed by longtime Bill Parcells disciple Al Groh. Also central to the narrative are the Atlanta Falcons and executives Rich McKay and Tim Ruskell (now with Seattle), who use a character-based evaluation system to set their draft board. These parallel stories weave together, culminating in draft weekend, to create a gripping and fascinating look at a world few see from the inside. This item ships from multiple locations. Your book may arrive from Roseburg,OR, La Vergne,TN. Paperback. Nº de ref. de la librería 9780312354398

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