May 8 2014, 7:31pm CDT | by Forbes
The 2014 NFL Draft will include heavy emphasis on household names like Texas A&M quarterback Johnny Manziel, South Carolina defensive end Jadeveon Clowney and Clemson wide receiver Sammy Watkins. They will walk up to the stage in Radio City Music Hall, listening to their their favorite songs and eventually shake the hand of NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell. Thereafter the selected athletes will entrust their Contract Advisors to negotiate rookie contracts. Estimates vary, but the first overall selection may stand to make roughly $14.5 million in the form of a signing bonus, along with an additional monies over the life of a four-year contract (with a fifth year option). The last pick of the first round will earn significantly less money, but will have the opportunity to strike it big on a future contract similar to Seattle Seahawks cornerback Richard Sherman, a former fifth round selection who on May 7 negotiated a four year, $57.4 million extension with $40 million guaranteed.
Round 1 will occur on the evening of May 8. Some pundits believe it is better for a player to be a high second round selection instead of a bottom of the first round pick; teams have fifth year options on first rounders, while second round selections do not bear the same baggage, thus allowing those players to reach a second, more valuable contract in less time.
Rounds two and three take place on May 9 and the NFL Draft concludes on May 10 with rounds four through seven. A total of 102 underclassmen have decided to leave their respective schools early (four of whom have already graduated) and were granted special eligibility for the 2014 NFL Draft. Seventy-three underclassmen filed paperwork for the 2013 NFL Draft (previously the record number of early entrants); 30% of them went undrafted.
The power of the pick rests in the hands of each decision maker at every NFL team. Players’ agents have done their work and there is little left for them to do. Football agent Chad Speck of Knoxville, Tennessee-based Allegiant Athletic Agency said it best, “Agents have no control today.”
7:36 p.m. ET – Some of the “walk-up” music for potential first round NFL Draft picks has leaked, the most obvious of which is that Johnny Manziel will walk onto the stage with Drake’s “Draft Day” in the background. Top prospects Khalil Mack and Greg Robinson have chosen to go with the popular “Happy” by Pharrell. Expect Aloe Blacc’s “The Man” when Jadeveon Clowney’s name is announced. Here is the full list of known walk-up tracks.
7:45 p.m. ET - While Michael Sam will likely not be selected in the first round, he has signed his first endorsement deal. The draft-eligible player who announced that he is gay has signed an endorsement contract with Visa. Sam’s agents had told FORBES he would maybe do one or two deals prior to the NFL Draft and that would be it.
7:51 p.m. ET – With minutes to go until the first pick of the NFL Draft, sports accountant Robert Raiola tweets, “There are 4 states that have #NFL teams and no state income tax: TX: Cowboys & Texans. WA Seahawks. Fla: Dolphins, Bucs, & Jags, TN Titans.” Information for players to keep in mind throughout their careers.
1. Houston Texans - DE Jadeveon Clowney – South Carolina – Agent: Bus Cook (BC Sports)
Outside of Texas A&M quarterback Johnny Manziel, no player may have been more preoccupied with pre-NFL Draft deals than South Carolina defensive end Jadeveon Clowney. Clowney had a gloves and protective gear deal in place with Wilson and a shoe deal with Puma before he set foot inside of Radio City Music Hall.
Jadeveon Clowney on with Fallon pic.twitter.com/iJMvQuoSkm
— CJ Fogler (@cjzero) May 8, 2014
Clowney’s agent selection process was more closely followed than most of his colleagues. In July 2013, a rumor that Clowney was “smitten with Jay Z, and that the two are in regular contact under the guise of the rapper recruiting him based on his marketing potential,” became a topic of discussion among NFL insiders. Clowney responded to the rumor by writing on his Instagram, “You kno we about to turn up. Dream coming true.” However, Clowney ended up choosing Bus Cook as his representative. The defensive end may eventually add Jay Z to the fold for marketing purposes. For the time being, he is rolling with Bus Cook, who also represents NFL Draft prospects Eric Ebron, Cyrus Kouandjio and others. 7:15 p.m. ET – Right as Jadeveon Clowney was selected by the Houston Texans, Carolina Panthers quarterback Cam Newton decided to fire off his first tweet ever.
2. St. Louis Rams - T Greg Robinson – Auburn – Agent: Lock, Metz & Malinovic
Greg Robinson decided to leave Auburn despite having two more years of eligibility to play college football. He quickly decided on football agent Eric Metz and his partners at Lock, Metz and Malinovic (LMM) to represent him.
— Jude LaCava (@judefox10) May 8, 2014
Robinson trained at EXOS in preparation for his Pro Day and the NFL Scouting Combine. He also dabbled in some MMA training in an effort to help with his striking and worked with Dallas Cowboys Pro Bowl offensive tackle Tyron Smith, who told Robinson that he has never seen anybody like him (6’5, 332 lbs and athletic).
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