Agencies prep for NFL draft with new signings
Roc Nation Sports has signed several high-profile prospects for the NFL draft, including Georgia left tackle Andrew Thomas, who may be the first offensive lineman taken off the board in April.
NFL agent John Thornton is representing Thomas, who was ranked No. 7 overall by ESPN draft analyst Todd McShay on his mock draft.
“He’s a big man, but he can move,” Thornton said of Thomas. “He can block any kind of rusher — speed rusher, power rusher — that’s why he’s ranked so high.”
Roc Nation Sports also signed University of Central Florida wide receiver Gabe Davis and Notre Dame defensive end Julian Okwara for representation. NFL agent Kim Miale is representing them. Miale and agent Charles Fisher are also representing Florida cornerback CJ Henderson.
Thornton played defensive tackle in the NFL from 1999 to 2009 for the Tennessee Titans and the Cincinnati Bengals before becoming an agent in 2013 and joining Roc Nation Sports in 2016. Thornton thinks Thomas has not only the physical skills but the mindset for success in the league.
“He’s a very serious guy,” Thornton said. “He’s very well spoken, and he’s a thoughtful person. I think he’s going to do well in the NFL because he has everything together. He has a great family. Mom and dad are very involved in his life. He’s his own person, but I think they keep him grounded.”
Rob Rang, NFL draft analyst for Field Level Media, said he thinks Thomas and Alabama right tackle Jedrick Wills could go in the first half of the first round, though he has Thomas ranked higher.
■ YOUNG MONEY SIGNS DRAFT CLASS: Young Money APAA has signed several players for the NFL draft, including Alabama’s Wills, Penn State defensive end Yetur Gross-Matos and Oklahoma quarterback Jalen Hurts.
Young Money also signed Arkansas defensive tackle McTelvin Agim, Utah State outside linebacker Tipa Galeai, Illinois linebacker Dele Harding and Michigan offensive tackle Jon Runyan.
NFL draft analyst McShay ranked Gross-Matos No. 32 in his mock draft.
NFL agent Andy Simms is representing Gross-Matos. Galeai is represented by Simms and agent Dave Lee.
NFL agent Ken Sarnoff is representing Harding and Runyan, son of former Eagles offensive lineman Jon Runyan Sr., who was a U.S. congressman and is now NFL vice president, policy and rules administration.
NFL agent Nicole Lynn and Sarnoff are representing Hurts. Lynn, who represented the No. 3 pick last year, Quinnen Williams, is representing Wills and Agim.
Although other clients may be drafted higher, Hurts, who came in second for the Heisman Trophy this year, may get the most publicity of the group.
“Most people don’t think he’s a first-rounder, but he’s probably the biggest favorite in the draft,” Lynn said. “He has a Senior Bowl invite. His Senior Bowl is going to determine a lot.”
Sarnoff noted that Hurts’ “intangibles are off the charts.” The Jan. 25 Senior Bowl “will be an outstanding opportunity for him to showcase his talents in front of scouts,” Sarnoff said.
■ DAY 1 SIGNS NFL DRAFT PROSPECTS: Day 1 Sports & Entertainment has signed Kansas offensive tackle Hakeem Adeniji and University of Miami (Fla.) linebacker Michael Pinckney for representation in the NFL draft. Day 1 founder and NFL agent Deryk Gilmore is representing them.
Adeniji has been invited to participate in the Senior Bowl, and Pinckney has been invited to participate in the East-West Shrine game.
■ CAA SPORTS SIGNS SOLAK: CAA Sports has signed Texas Rangers second baseman Nick Solak, who broke into the major leagues last summer.
CAA Baseball agents Matt Ricatto, Andrew Nacario and Jeff Berry will lead the team representing Solak. He was formerly represented by Sosnick Cobbe & Karon.
Solak made his major league debut on Aug. 20, 2019, and set a franchise record by hitting safely in his first 11 career games. Solak, who wound up batting .293, will be eligible for rookie of the year in 2020.