Sports Biz with Darren Rovell

NFL Draft: Financial Winners & Losers

You've already seen all the grades from the first round of last night's NFL Draft, but who won and lost in the business world? Here's our take.


1. Tim Tebow: Who knows what happens to Tim Tebow now that he's in Denver, with Kyle Orton and Brady Quinn also on the roster. But college football's most valuable player was able to save face by being taken as the 25th pick in the first round.

Tim Tebow
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Those pundits who enjoyed talking about how far Tebow would fall sure will be eating crow today. At No. 25, Tebow should make about $8 to $10 million guaranteed with a five-year contract. (He arguably made more for the University of Florida over four years.)

Out of all the contracts I want to see, it's this one. How creative can agent Jimmy Sexton get with incentives? Because if Tebow turns out to be the team's quarterback, he should obviously get paid a lot more than if he's running all over the field.

Something important to note here is that I suspect Tebow—as well as Colt McCoy of Texas (who wasn't taken in the first round)—will make more money in marketing in their local college markets of Gainesville and Austin than they will in their NFL markets for at least the first three years of their career.

2. CAA wins the agent game: There were 19 different agents representing the 32 picks chosen. Tom Condon and Ben Dogra of CAA had all six of their clients (Sam Bradford, Gerald McCoy, Derrick Morgan, Jermaine Gresham, Bryan Bulaga and Jerry Hughes) go in the first round last night. Estimating that their players will earn about $118 million guaranteed, if CAA takes a 3 percent cut, last night was worth at least $3.54 million to them.

Other impressive showings by agents included BEST's Joel Segal (Brandon Graham, Maurkice Pouncey and Kyle Wilson) and Eugene Parker and Roosevelt Barnes of Maximum Sports (Ndamukong Suh, Trent Williams & Dez Bryant).

3. Big 12 Makes Mark: The Big 12 led all conferences in first round selections with 10. Turns out 31 percent of yesterday's names called came from the Big 12, including the first four picks. Following the Big 12 was the SEC (6), ACC (4), with the WAC, Big Ten and Big East having 3. The Pac-10 only had two names called while the Mountain West had one. When was the last draft that didn't have a single name called from USC, Ohio State or Notre Dame in the first round?

4. The State of Oklahoma: Six players drafted last night played their college ball in the state of Oklahoma. The University of Oklahoma had three players in the top four (Bradford, McCoy and Williams). Combined the three figure to make $110 million guaranteed. Oklahoma also had Gresham go 21, while Oklahoma State saw Russell Okung and Dez Bryant land in the first round.

"All of us are so excited for them and proud of the way they handled themselves in reaching their dream," Oklahoma athletic director Joe Castiglione told me last night. "They will demonstrate the same ethic, passion for success and character which have been amongst their trademarks to the next phase of their journey in becoming a great teammate within the organizations they now represent."

5. Tyson Alualu: Alualu, a defensive tackle from California, went No. 10 to the Jacksonville Jaguars, despite the fact that you'd be hard pressed to find one mock draft with Alualu in the first round. Alualu can expect a nice payday of about $15 million guaranteed, whereas, if he went where he was projected, he probably would have wound up with a $4 million payday.


1. Jimmy Clausen: The Notre Dame quarterback was expected to be a mid-first rounder, but didn't get taken at all. But Clausen might not join former Notre Dame quarterback Brady Quinn as being among the biggest money losers in the history of the draft. I estimated that Quinn lost $17 million in 2007 by slipping from his projected No. 3 slot to No. 22. The tough part with estimating Clausen's losses is that the pros projected him to be all over the place.

Jimmy Clausen
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ESPN's Mel Kiper had Clausen as high as No. 8 in his final mock draft, SI's Peter King had Clausen going 14 to Seattle, while most, including ESPN's Todd McShay and NFL Network's Mike Mayock had him going 30th to the Vikings. The difference between being selected No. 8 and going in the early second round is probably about a $14 million loss, but if Clausen gets picked really early today, he should still make more than last year's No. 30 pick Kenny Britt, who got $6.5 million guaranteed.

2. The Networks: Love the primetime idea, but the draft was incredibly boring to watch, both in person and on TV. Why? Because it lacked the college football star power, the players drafted from the skill positions—the quarterbacks, wide receivers and running backs. Teams have finally learned that those positions in the draft are overvalued, but it does kill the TV product.

Only seven players selected last night came from those offensive skill positions (Tebow, Bradford, C.J. Spiller, Ryan Mathews, Demaryious Thomas, Bryant and Jahvid Best), which might be the lowest number from those position spots ever in the first round. Last year's draft had 12 players from those positions and the 2005 NFL Draft had the first five players called playing the quarterback, running back and wide receiver positions.

3. Bryan Bulaga: Iowa's offensive tackle slipped recently on mock draft boards, but not many had him much lower than No. 17. Bulaga slipped six spots further than that to the Green Bay Packers. If he went where Peter King said he'd go at No. 5, he would have made about $30 million guaranteed. At No. 23, he's looking at a contract that will guarantee him closer to $8 million.

4. Jacksonville Jaguars: Who knows? Alualu might turn out to be a stud, but if you believe that the draft is hit and miss, why not take shot at drafting homegrown son Tim Tebow? Jacksonville was one of only three teams last year in the league (along with Oakland and Detroit) that drew less than 80 percent capacity. Maybe the Jaguars will see their mistake when the stadium fills to the brim for a chance to see Tebow in some fashion when the Broncos visit the Jaguars in the first game of the season.

5. Dez Bryant: Bryant getting taken 24th is the cautionary tale that says that football talent is only part of this game. Bryant might have been a stud at Oklahoma State, but he had too many strikes against him when he was suspended last season after he lied to the NCAA about his contact with Deion Sanders.

Skipping the NFL combine probably wasn't the best move either. Bryant probably lost about $10 million if lived up to his full potential in college and didn't have any strange things going on. The good thing is that Bryant just might be so talented that he can make that up someday if he blows it up in Big D, which of course is the perfect place for him to play.

Questions?  Comments?