It is the most wonderful time of the year. Last night kicked off the annual NFL Draft, which commenced with an expected pick from the Jacksonville Jaguars, selecting Trevor Lawrence (Clemson) first overall (represented by MGC Sports for on-field work and Excel Sports for his marketing), followed by the New York Jets’ selection of Zach Wilson (BYU), who is represented by Brian Ayrault of William Morris Endeavor. From there, picks started to get interesting, causing a ripple effect of shake-ups, trades, and jaw-dropping selections. The first round was a whirlwind of emotion for players, teams, agents, and fans.
The winners for round one were with certainty CAA (7 clients selected) and Athletes First (8 clients selected). The tandem combined for 46.9% of the night’s talent, represented by powerhouse agents including Tory Dandy, Patrick Collins, Tommy Condon, and Jimmy Sexton for CAA, and David Mulugheta and Andre Odom for Athletes First. Speaking of Odom, he is a first-year certified NFLPA agent with two top-12 picks (Kyle Pitts and Micah Parsons) and another first-rounder for good measure.
CAA and Athletes First were commanding the 1st round from the start. Athletes First represent 3 of the first 8 players selected. Through the first 15 picks, Athletes First and CAA each had 5 players off the board, accounting for 66% of the NFL Draft at that point. Ultimately, Athletes First would end the night with 25% of all players taken.
Rosenhaus Sports, William Morris Endeavor, Klutch Sports, and SportFive combined for eight of the night’s selections. They each respectively represent 2 players who were taken the first night. Of note, Joel Segal, of SportFive, had two clients selected in the first round (Jaylen Waddle and Zaven Collins), which means that Segal has now represented multiple NFL Draft first-rounders in 15 of the last 16 years.
Last night also marked Alabama tying the record for most players drafted in the first round (T-1st Miami, FL). Other universities made some noise, including Northwestern, which had the highest number of players drafted in the first round in school history.
As always, at the end of the NFL Draft, we will provide a full breakdown of player/agent pairings for all 7 rounds.
The above was written with the help of Sports Agent Blog founder Darren Heitner.