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

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St. Martin's Publishing Group, Apr 1, 2007 - Sports & Recreation - 336 pages

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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User Review  - skinglist - LibraryThing

Although my interest petered out toward the end, I really enjoyed this look into the 2005 draft. It is interesting to see how the Falcons' candidates stayed on their radars and how others fell off ... Read full review

LibraryThing Review

User Review  - Malarchy - LibraryThing

As an avid NFL reader, I can guess what I'll be getting for Christmas and sure enough The Draft was tucked away underneath my tree. I had quite high hopes as the draft is one of the great events in ... Read full review

Contents

Prologue
1
First Contacts
7
The Pro Depot
19
The DraftThen and Now
40
Pro College Football
57
Birds of Prey
74
The Challenger
92
Agent Day
114
The AllStar Meat Market
177
The Need for Speed
193
Indianapolis
208
Pro Days
229
Red Dot Specials
249
Draft Day
265
Aftermath
292
Afterword
305

Going Pro
133
Workout Warriors
149
Fighting for Alvin Pearman
162
Acknowledgments
319
Index
335
Copyright

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About the author (2007)

Pete Williams writes 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 six books, including the business motivational book Fun Is Good (with Mike Veeck). Williams lives in the Tampa Bay, Florida, area with his family.

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