The Real Costs of Preparing for the NFL Draft


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NFL Draft

Years ago, college football players would stay at their respective campuses and prepare for the NFL draft. Today, the four- to five-month period between the end of the college season and draft day is a science in itself. Players strength train, speed train, eat premium food at the right times each day, and much more. It is all done with one goal in mind - the NFL Draft. And, it costs money. Alot of it.

Typical Expenses

NFL draft prospects typically work with a training organization. The trainers work with the athletes to prepare them for the NFL Combine and their pro day. There is strength training, speed training, plyometrics work, and agility drills. There are a number of trainers and organizations that work specifically with NFL draft prospects. One is EXOS.

EXOS, a human performance company as stated on its website, has numerous locations around the country. This year, EXOS hosted some 150 NFL draft prospects at five different locations. For two months, players stay at an EXOS facility and receive training, meals, work with position coaches, interview prep, massage therapy, and much more. An eight-week plan at EXOS starts at around $17,000.

Other Expenses

When players finish their eight weeks, they need somewhere to stay and continue their pre-draft preparation. No, they aren't moving back in with mom and dad and the price tag could be another $2,000 to $5,000. 

Players also need a means of transportation. Many will not have their own vehicles. Since draft prospects have not yet signed their first professional contract, they usually do not have the ability to buy a car. A rental works. Michigan State DB Khari Willis, a mid- to late-round prospect, drove a new Dodge Charger at a price tag of roughly $1,000 to $2,000.

Don't forget medical coverage. Some athletes may have the luxury of being covered under a parents' insurance plan, but many do not. Medical coverage will kick in once a player signs his contract, but to be covered in the interim a player must put out anywhere from $2,000 to $3,000

One of the biggest expenses a prospect will have is pre-draft meetings with NFL teams. When you factor in flights, hotels, and meals; a typical pre-draft visit will run about $2,000. Many prospects will make at least 10 of these visits. 

Who Pays?

So, how do NFL prospects pay for all of this? Simple. They don't.

Agents and their organizations cover all of the costs. These player representatives will front the money to their prospects in the hopes they make it back when the player signs his contract. Most agents will even give prospects a stipend. Top level prospects can get as much as $100,000 in a lump sum payment. Others may receive a weekly stipend. 

Regardless, when it is all said and done, player representatives will lay out anywhere from $50,000 to upwards of $200,000 for draft prep for an individual player. 

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