Chalk Talk Episode #4: It’s NFL Draft Time, and We Have Some Thoughts on How Things Will Play Out

Plus, my co-host and former NFL pro Hale Hentges reveals why you should never call an NFL hopeful in the three days leading up to the draft.

Chalk Talk with Zebra`s Adam Petrus and Hale Hentges
by Adam Petrus
April 27, 2022

Anxious and hypersensitive to ringing phones. That’s probably the best way to describe how every eligible college football player is feeling right now as we start the official countdown to the 2022 NFL Draft. 

How do we know? Well, my Chalk Talk co-host Hale Hentges has been there. As a senior at Alabama, he spent the three days leading up to the 2019 NFL Draft stressed about what was going to happen. Every time the phone range, it set off a range of emotions. “Was this going to be the call with good news?!” 

That’s why he offers some sage advice to all of you who know a 2022 NFL prospect: “Unless you’re calling with good news, don’t call until the draft is over!” Even if you’re family. Or perhaps especially if you’re family.

What should you do instead? (Because I know you’re probably a ball of nerves and need a distraction, too.)  

I think you should hit play on our latest Chalk Talk episode so you can find out how Hale’s draft experience played out. You’ll also learn some fun facts such as:

  • [5:33] Why I was constantly emulating Cleveland Browns legends growing up. 

  • [6:27] Who Hale’s favorite team was in the 2000’s and the players he wanted to be when he grew up.

  • [7:11] The game strategy being used by both players and teams leading up to the NFL Draft, and why Hale likens the draft to a chess match.  

  • [10:43] The way that blockbuster – and back office – moves around the league during the offseason will impact negotiations and dialogues these next few days.

  • [19:27] How many quarterbacks will get drafted in the first round (based on our official expert opinions).

  • [23:48] The phone call that ultimately landed Hale in the NFL as a tight end, and why he always kept his options open.

We also provide our two cents on the different bargaining chips being used right now on both sides to get what they want. (For example, some players may be asking for too much money, even if they’re categorized as high-value playmakers.) 

Curious how our mock draft shaped up, especially in the first round? We start that debate at the 11:30 mark. So, check it out and tell us if you agree with our picks (and reasoning). You can find me on Linkedin and Instagram or you can connect with Hale on Linkedin if you want to weigh in.

Chalk Talk Episode #4: NFL Draft Preview, Predictions and Past Experiences

Adam Petrus
Adam Petrus is currently the Client Services Project Manager within Zebra Sports at Zebra Technologies where he is responsible for co-managing the game day operation of the NFL’s Next Gen Stats program. Adam has more than 10 years of experience within the sports and technology industry and has been working with Next Gen Stats since 2015. Previously, he worked in the front office of an NFL Football Club and then the United States Intelligence Community supporting business operations.
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