SBJ/January 21-27, 2013/Labor and Agents

However draft shakes out, CAA looks to be in good shape

Liz Mullen
It’s hard to predict which players NFL clubs may take with their first-round picks this year, but with most of the top-rated prospects signed as of last week, it is likely that CAA Sports will have a big draft.

As of last week, CAA Sports agents Ben Dogra, Jimmy Sexton, Tom Condon and R.J. Gonser had signed eight players who are projected as first-round draft picks by NFLDraftScout.com: Texas A&M offensive tackle Luke Joeckel, Florida State defensive end Bjoern Werner, USC quarterback Matt Barkley, Arkansas quarterback Tyler Wilson, Missouri defensive tackle Sheldon Richardson, Notre Dame linebacker Manti Te’o, Notre Dame tight end Tyler Eifert and Alabama center Barrett Jones.

Rob Rang’s mock draft at NFLDraftScout.com ranked Joeckel No. 1, Werner No. 5, Barkley No. 7, Wilson No. 8, Richardson No. 10, Te’o No. 15, Eifert No. 19 and Jones No. 26.

CAA Sports represented seven first-round picks last year and has had the most first-round picks of any agency for the last several years. In 2009, the agency represented nine first-round picks, a record for any single firm.

Agents and draft analysts say this year’s first round may be the hardest to predict in years, including the No. 1 pick.
Other firms with notable signings for the draft, which will begin on April 25:

LAGARDERE: Signed Georgia linebacker Jarvis Jones. Lagardère Football President Joel Segal will represent him. Jones was ranked No. 3 by NFLDraftScout.com but No. 1 by ESPN.com draft analyst Mel Kiper Jr.

PROSOURCE SPORTS MANAGEMENT: Signed LSU outside linebacker Barkevious Mingo. NFLDraftScout.com ranked Mingo No. 9 on its mock draft last week.

ProSource also signed LSU defensive tackle Bennie Logan and Louisiana-Lafayette cornerback Melvin White. Jeff Guerriero will represent the players.

Guerriero has been an NFL Players Association-certified agent since 1997 and has negotiated 127 contracts but has never represented a first-round pick. His previous highest-drafted player was cornerback David Pittman, taken in the third round by the Ravens in 2006.

IMPACT SPORTS: Signed Alabama cornerback Dee Milliner, ranked No. 13 on NFLDraftScout.com last week.

Impact also signed West Virginia wide receiver Stedman Bailey, Illinois defensive tackle Akeem Spence, UCLA defensive end Datone Jones and Florida Atlantic wide receiver Duron Carter. Carter is the son of former NFL wide receiver Cris Carter.

Additionally, Impact has signed Buffalo Bills linebacker Nigel Bradham.

Impact agents Sean Kiernan, Mitch Frankel and Tony Fleming will represent the players. Bradham was formerly represented by Perennial Sports & Entertainment.

NC SPORTS: Signed Wisconsin running back Montee Ball. Neil Cornrich will represent him.

RELATIVITY SPORTS: Signed Florida State defensive tackle Everett Dawkins and Mississippi State cornerback Darius Slay.

Agent Roosevelt Barnes will represent Dawkins and agent Eugene Parker will represent Slay. “He is going to be a sleeper,” Parker said of Slay. “You will hear about him. He will be at the combine; will he ever.”
 
ROSENHAUS SPORTS: The firm owned by brothers Drew and Jason Rosenhaus signed Florida International safety Jonathan Cyprien, who was invited to play in this year’s Senior Bowl. “He is the first player from FIU to play in the Senior Bowl,” Drew Rosenhaus said.

> WASSERMAN SIGNS SMITH: Wasserman Media Group has signed Portland Trail Blazers guard Nolan Smith for representation. Agents Arn Tellem and B.J. Armstrong will represent him. He was formerly represented by Bell Management International.

> ICON SIGNS STENSON: Icon Sports Management has signed Swedish golfer Henrik Stenson, a veteran of both the PGA Tour and the European Tour, for representation.
 
R.J. Nemer, president of Stow, Ohio-based Icon, will represent him. Stenson was formerly represented by the Stockholm-based agency Sportyard.
 
Icon specializes in representing golfers, and its clients include Ian Poulter, Ryan Moore and Bud Cauley.

Liz Mullen can be reached at lmullen@sportsbusinessjournal.com. Follow her on Twitter @SBJLizMullen.

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