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March 18, 2010 @ 4:15 am
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Agent X: Combine Diary

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In the next "Agent X" feature on PewterReport.com, NFL agent Ron Slavin authors a behind the scenes view of the 2010 NFL Scouting Combine. Slavin takes readers into the day-to-day events of the combine through his perspective and his clients: Taylor Price, Earl Mitchell, and Devin Ross.
PewterReport.com is proud to continue a new feature where agents in the NFL community will write for Pewter Report readers. The agents will hit on a number of topics in the NFL.

This "Agent X" feature is written by veteran NFL Agent Ron Slavin. For BTI Sports Advisors, Slavin is one of the leading agents for one of the most successful player representation firms in the country. Some of Slavin's clients are: Cowboys cornerback Orlando Scandrick, Chargers cornerback Antoine Cason, Detroit Lions safety Marquand Manuel, Lions free agent cornerback William James, Jaguars wide receiver Mike Thomas, Rams fullback Mike Karney, and Falcons running back Aaron Stecker. Slavin's firm has represented a number of former Tampa Bay Buccaneers including: Stecker, Patrick Chukwurah, Sean Mahan, Deangelo Willingham, Jason Pociask.

Slavin takes us inside the NFL Scouting Combine from an agent's perspective in guiding his clients: Ohio wide receiver Taylor Price, Arizona defensive tackle Earl Mitchell, and Arizona defensive back Devin Ross.


THURSDAY
I left Madison at 11:00 AM for my drive to Indy. I made calls on my drive to my combine invitees, Taylor Price, Earl Mitchell and Devin Ross. I made sure Earl and Devin were ready to go and that Taylor got to Indianapolis safely. Taylor had four top 60 interviews lined up at the combine, and had interviews with all 32 wide receiver coaches in the NFL. The Top 60 interviews are the 15-minute meetings with the teams' general managers, head coaches, and other top decision makers. Antoine Cason had 24 of those in 2008, but he didn't attend any All Star games, so teams needed to meet with him. Taylor went to the Senior Bowl, so had already met with a lot of decision makers in Mobile. Once I got to Indy, I checked into my hotel and went out to meet with a few scouts.

FRIDAY
I had a long day of NFLPA meetings from 9:00 am to 5:00 pm. This is the yearly meeting attended by all the agents to get updated on contract issues, agent discipline, marketing info, etc. This year's meeting was mostly about getting our players prepared for a lockout. It isn't easy to get 22 and 23-year old men to save money for an emergency fund and now we have to have them save for two years worth of bills. It's scary to think the NFL owners will lockout the players and we won't have a season of football. As an agent, we only get paid when the players are getting paid. My lively hood relies on the NFL playing a 16-game season. After the seminar was complete I met with Martin Mayhew, the general manager for the Lions, to discuss two of my veteran players -- William James and Marquand Manuel. I think we will get Marquand signed back with the Lions, I don't know about Will (we got Marquand re-signed just a few days ago). I really think they are undervaluing Will's contributions last year. After dinner, I made sure Earl Mitchell got into Indy safely, and then met some scouts out for drinks to talk about my combine invitees.

SATURDAY
Taylor Price's mom and girlfriend are coming to Indy today to see what the combine is all about. I got them checked into their hotel room and showed them where they could do some shopping. I then made sure Devin Ross got into Indy. After lunch we had a meeting with a team to discuss some free agents. Earl Mitchell just weighed in at 296 pounds, I'm happy about that because I think he will be the fastest defensive tackle over 295 pounds since Tank Johnson ran a 4.74. We then went to dinner with Taylor's mom and girlfriend. At dinner, John Schneider, the Seahawks general manager, stopped in to talk to me about my combine guys. We also discussed the players we represent on the Seahawks: fullback Owen Schmitt, tight end Jason Pociask, and defensive back Deangelo Willingham. After dinner we went out in Indy for a little while and met up with a reporter I'm friends with and a few scouts.

SUNDAY
Today, Taylor Price has his workout. We decided to watch it on the computer in the hotel room, so we don't miss anything during commercials. Taylor's mom and girlfriend are watching with us and everyone is a little nervous. He ran his first 40 and was clocked at 4.41. We were hoping for a 4.3 something, but he ended up running the second-fastest 40 out of all the wide receivers. He also vertical jumped 37 inches, benched 17 reps at 225 pounds and ran a 6.82 3 cone. I couldn't be happier for Taylor, he worked extremely hard in training and it paid off. He should go in the second round after this performance. He had a great Senior Bowl and to have this good of a workout will only help his chances. I was hearing from scouts that this could be like the 2008 draft where no wide receivers go in the first round and 10 could go in the second round. We met Taylor at the player's hotel after his workout and ate lunch with him. His mom and girlfriend were driving him back to Columbus, Ohio. He was happy with his performance and we made the decision for him to just run routes at his Pro Day on March 11. After they left I checked in with Earl and Devin and made sure they had everything they needed. I met a scout for dinner and talked about all my guys and called it a night.

MONDAY
Earl is working out today, and again I decided to watch it on my computer. Last year we watched it on the big screen and our wide receiver Mike Thomas ran a 4.31 and it was at commercial, the only way we knew was the five scouts who were texting me that my guy just ran real fast. Thus, I watched Earl run a 4.70 and was amazed how the NFL Network didn't even mention that he just ran the fastest time anyone over 295 pounds had ever run. His 10-yard split was 1.56 which is ridiculous. He ran the first 10 yards faster than most wide receivers and running backs. I really believe NFL Network picks five or six guys who they talk about and forget that there are 300 guys at this event. While I was waiting for Earl to finish his workout, I met up with Devin Ross to talk about his top 60 interviews. He had four also. He did 16 reps on the bench, so he was happy with that. After Earl got done with his workout we met back at the player's hotel and had lunch. Earl wanted to do his vertical jump again at his Pro Day, but was happy with everything else. I gave Earl a ride to the airport and drove back to Madison. I would have stayed for Devin Ross to run, but he would have been rushed to the airport after his workout, so I wouldn't have spoken to him anyway. It was a very productive week in Indianapolis and I look forward to the Pro Days and team visits to get over with, so we can all see what happens the weekend of April 22-24 for the NFL draft.

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