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Part of recovering from that setback included preparing for the possibility of being undrafted.

“Thank goodness my family was there to comfort me and tell me: If it’s still in me to follow my dreams, it’s not over,” Hynoski said. “I still have another chance.”

Smith, who also is Hynoski’s and Young’s agent, compiled a list of five teams Hynoski best fit. That’s a common practice among agents whose clients are not in the consensus top 64 picks. Preparation is essential because of how frenetic the negotiating period is after the draft concludes Saturday night.

Paulsen’s agent, Steve Caric, presents each of his clients a report detailing how they would fit on all 32 teams. Each team requires more than a page of analysis. He ranks the top 10 to 15 fits for each of his players and asks them to do the same. They cross-check their lists and establish priorities. The list evolves during the draft as teams fill needs and depth charts change.

“It really all boils down to opportunities,” Paulsen said.

Agents spend weeks leading up to the draft trying to unearth the best one. No factor is too insignificant.

Smith and Caric each monitor teams’ tendencies in allotting preseason playing time to undrafted free agents and how many undrafted rookies make a team’s final roster each September. They analyze depth charts and the length of contracts for players on the roster.

Agents are wary of teams with reputations for shoehorning draft picks into the roster at the expense of undrafted players who might perform better. Front office executives are judged by their ability to procure talent, and success of draft picks is an obvious measure to any fan.

“Jacksonville used to be a place that I wouldn’t send anybody because historically they would have, like, one or two undrafted free agents and didn’t always give the guys the best opportunities,” Smith said. “But now with this new regime, you try to keep an eye on them.”

Cincinnati scared some agents off by failing four undrafted rookies’ physicals last May.

“That’s the scarlet letter at that point,” Smith said. “Nobody else is going to touch you. Knowing that, I’m not going to send a guy to the Bengals if I have other options.”

Smith would be reluctant to direct a family-oriented player from the East Coast to the West. “The mentality is completely different,” he said. “If you send him to a San Francisco where he doesn’t know anybody, you know he’s going to struggle.”

Smith accounts for players’ preference regarding weather. Undrafted rookies don’t necessarily have the luxury of being selective, but it at least impacts their pre-draft rankings.

Agents always seek a pre-existing relationship between a client and a member of a coaching staff. The Redskins topped Paulsen’s rankings in 2010 because of his connection to then-tight ends coach Jon Embree. Embree was UCLA’s assistant head coach/tight ends during Paulsen’s freshman year in 2005.

“If you can send someone where their position coach already knows them and already values what they do … you’ve already got someone in the room who’s going to fight for you,” Caric said.

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