Undrafted free agency is still in the works and this is a reminder to not just look the other way while your favorite NFL team sign a handful of undrafted guys. Start paying attention to them now, because four or five of them could be the team’s primary starters down the road.
Joel Turner and his brother Justin have been in the business for 21 years, so they know a thing or two when it comes to top talent.
“We don’t recruit players saying ‘oh he’s going to get drafted,” Joel said. We recruit players that fit exactly what we look for from a playing level capability and from a personal level. Never once have we said in our mind ‘oh he’s going to get drafted third-round, we’re going after him’.”
Smaller Agency, Bigger Benefits
Turner Sports is run by just Joel and Joel, nobody else so it’s fairly small but has a lot more benefits—one being that they notice the guys who get overlooked.
“There are major agencies that miss out on great players all the time because the only players they recruit are the high-end players or the players they thought were high-end, the players with big names. They only recruit guys that are first, second, maybe early third-round locks.”
Turner Sports’ clients are typically selected in the sixth or seventh round if at all drafted, but most are undrafted free agents who eventually turn into starters. Just to name a few; Mike Tolbert, Cole Beasley, and Patrick Dimarco all went overlooked and undrafted but made a name for themselves.
Turner Sports Management prides itself on not only finding good athletes but good people as well and 94% of their clients have earned a college degree prior to entering the league.
This Year’s Undrafted Class Prospect to Know
Out of a handful of players that Turner Sports Management has represented this year, Joel says Will Hastings is one player to keep our eyes on.
Hastings is a wide receiver out of Auburn who signed with the New England Patriots as an undrafted free agent. Joel was most impressed with Hasting’s 6.56 three-cone drill, calling it the fastest he’s ever seen in 21 years.
“That means he’s so quick, you couldn’t catch him in a phone booth, Joel said.”
Hastings will actually be re-joining his old QB Jarrett Stidham in New England so the chemistry is already there.
Joel says the former Auburn walk-on is the next Cole Beasley, all over again.
No. 1 Goal-Don’t. Get. Hurt.
Only 255 players will get selected in the NFL Draft and the thousands of young talent that are left, it’s up to their agents to sell them to other teams.
And according to Joel Turner NFL teams have only one thing in mind when they sign on the extra 20 or so undrafted free agents:
“The best way to run a team is to get the best players you can get and then let them fight it out.”
Joel says that’s not the outlook he wants for his players because that’s how players get hurt, but he knows the reality of the NFL.
“All of them are really just rolling the dice. I wish that they all could make it but it’s life, it doesn’t work that way. When you’re talking 53 players and it’s a violent game. Think about it, the game is predicated on one guy with a piece of leather and 11 guys pretty much trying to kill that guy. So, there’s going to be people that get hurt and they do frequently. Some people’s injuries are catastrophic and some people’s injuries are just enough to sideline their entire career.
We’ve had a number of players who have gotten hurt in the fourth preseason game and the reality is they really shouldn’t even have been playing in the game. The reality is, they made the ball club. They were there, they were good and then they got hurt and even if it was only a six week or seven-week injury, it doesn’t matter, the ball club doesn’t just want to carry dead weight. When they’re healthy, we’ve gotten them another job but it doesn’t matter. It’s not the same situation. The fit isn’t just the same as the one they had. and it’s a real shame.”
Joel says there is one goal that players should keep in mind when making the transition from the collegiate level to the NFL:
“You better play well and you better stay healthy otherwise the odds of you staying in the league aren’t that long.”