What’s it like to be an agent on Day 3 of the NFL Draft? A behind-the-scenes look at a wild day of phone calls, deep breaths and money made

An inside look at Octagon's handling of Day 3 of the 2022 NFL Draft, including selections of Zander Horvath, Braxton Jones, and Cade Mays.

BEACH HAVEN, N.J. — It’s 11:37 AM on Saturday, and Octagon Football senior director Casey Muir is busy working his phone as Day 3 of the NFL Draft is set to begin at noon. It’s been roughly 14 hours since Kentucky center Luke Fortner — a primary client of Muir’s — was selected with the first pick in the third round of the 2022 NFL Draft by the Jacksonville Jaguars.

But Muir has plenty of work ahead of him, as eight other Octagon clients are still on the board, and he and his partners, Murphy McGuire, Jeremy Newberry, and J.I. Halsell, are hoping to get as many of those prospects selected as possible while still managing their expectations, a significant part of their jobs.

In a way, representing a first-round pick is easy. Those players are positioned because of their natural ability, college production, and test numbers. For McGuire, Newberry, Halsell, and Muir, Day 3 is really where their hard work pays off.

Behind the Scenes: The life of an agent on Day 3 of the NFL Draft

Agents representing Day 3 players can sometimes make the difference between a prospect being drafted or falling into undrafted free agency. The job of an agent on draft weekend is primarily based on hustling — working the phones and NFL relationships and serving as de facto therapists/cheerleaders for their clients.

Muir, 39, has been in the business since 2011, and he still gets a thrill out of seeing his clients land on teams. During the third round, Muir set up a phone to record his reaction when the Jaguars called him about the Fortner pick. After the call, Muir let out a deep breath, relieved to see Fortner go earlier than most pundits expected, and then let out a loud “Let’s go!”

But it’s a new day, and Muir can’t afford to take it easy. Day 3 is his Super Bowl, and Octagon hopes to get its entire draft class on rosters through selections or undrafted free agency.

Pro Football Network spent the day watching Muir work alongside McGuire and Newberry — via phone — from the fourth round into undrafted free agency.

11:40 AM

Muir calls Purdue running back Zander Horvath, his other primary rookie client, to go over the game plan for the day.

Muir explains the process of Day 3 and how teams will handle his selection. He lists more than a handful of teams who could select Horvath, including the New England Patriots, Atlanta Falcons, Chicago Bears, Kansas City Chiefs, Dallas Cowboys, Carolina Panthers, and Los Angeles Chargers.

Muir, managing his client’s expectations, tells Horvath there are other teams with undraftable grades on him, and they could approach him to recruit him as a priority free agent.

Muir believes the sixth round is Horvath’s likely ceiling but explains that Horvath’s fullback/running back hybrid characteristics could make him an undraftable player because teams don’t typically value true fullbacks, which could be his projection on some boards.

He tells Horvath to use any frustration from today as a chip on his shoulder. He then offers some much-needed perspective ahead of the biggest day of Horvath’s life to this point: “Keep this in mind, you’re going to be an NFL player before this day is over.”

12:14 PM

“I love and hate the draft,” Muir says. “You have to have thick skin because you recruit these kids for a year, and then some of them leave you at the altar in December, and then you have to watch their wedding with someone else four months later.”

The first two picks of the fourth round are off the board. The Tampa Bay Buccaneers select Washington tight end Cade Otton at 106th overall, and the Houston Texans select Florida running back Dameon Pierce at 107th overall.

“I actually thought the Texans were going to take [Texas A&M RB] Isaiah Spiller,” Muir said.

The Cleveland Browns select Oklahoma defensive tackle Perrion Winfrey. However, Muir is taking notes on the Pierce pick because Octagon still has Horvath and Baylor RB Abram Smith on the board at the position.

12:29 PM

The Washington Commanders are on the clock at No. 113. Muir looks through his binder of projected landing spots for the Octagon clients.

Muir thinks Washington could look to take an offensive tackle at some point on Day 3, and Octagon has Southern Utah offensive tackle Braxton Jones on their client list. Washington selects Louisiana DB Percy Butler.

12:52 PM

Muir offers a nugget of wisdom that he found out about earlier this morning. Fortner is tied for the highest-drafted Kentucky offensive lineman since 1988. Guard Larry Watford, like Fortner, was the 65th overall pick in 2013. Dermontti Dawson, a center, was drafted in the second round in 1988.

12:59 PM

The Las Vegas Raiders select Georgia RB Zamir White with the 122nd overall pick. “Yeah, I was waiting on that one,” Muir says.

Then the Chargers select the aforementioned Spiller at No. 123. Muir isn’t happy about that pick because the Chargers showed a lot of interest in Horvath.

That said, the Chargers — according to Muir — need a running back and a fullback, and Horvath can play both. “It still could be in play,” Muir says.

1:12 PM

Another running back is off the board. The Patriots select South Dakota State running back Pierre Strong with the 127th overall pick. Muir and Horvath had earmarked the Patriots as a possible favorite landing spot for him.

Muir and Horvath exchange texts about the Chargers and Patriots. Horvath is hopeful that this run will cease.

Casey McGuire working during the 2022 NFL Draft
Casey Muir working during the 2022 NFL Draft

1:22 PM

After spending most of the fourth round outside, Muir moves inside because it’s getting cold, as the beach house is picking up the wind from the coastline.

Another running back, Michigan’s Hassan Haskins, is selected by the Tennessee Titans at No. 131. Muir consults his landing spots sheet and scribbles down some notes.

Baylor’s Abram Smith seems to be a likely candidate for the fifth round, and with several backs coming off the board in the fourth, Smith’s phone could ring within the hour.

1:29 PM

“Freaking punters,” Muir says as the Tampa Bay Buccaneers select Georgia punter Jake Camarda with the 133rd overall pick.

Camarda is the second punter to come off the board and the second within the past five picks. All eight Octagon clients that entered today’s selection process remain undrafted.

1:44 PM

Muir answers the phone. Could this be the first pick of the day for Octagon? Nope, it’s just the lunch delivery. Muir ordered a chicken caesar wrap.

2:12 PM

Muir checks in with Fortner, and they chat about the rest of the Kentucky players in the draft. Muir discusses the importance of Fortner moving to Florida right away so he can establish residency for tax purposes. The draft isn’t just about getting picked — it’s about the business that comes with it.

2:30 PM

It’s the middle of the fifth round, and the Jaguars have just made a trade with the Philadelphia Eagles. The Eagles send the 154th overall pick to Jacksonville for the 188th and 198th overall picks in the sixth round. The Jaguars select Ole Miss RB Snoop Conner. The running back class continues to dwindle.

The Browns select Cincinnati RB Jerome Ford at No. 156, so the momentum is building. “Running backs are moving here,” Muir says. “It’s going to come.”

2:48 PM

Muir explains that the Octagon Football team typically takes a lot into consideration when ranking potential landing spots. From current players’ salaries to depth chart concerns, the agency breaks down who needs each position and how much interest they’ve shown in their clients.

It’s not an exact science, but there are a lot of variables that make a team a potential landing spot for clients.

3:02 PM

Muir calls to check in on Horvath and check his temperature. Horvath says he and his family are fine. Horvath brings up the Los Angeles Rams drafting Notre Dame RB Kyren Williams at No. 164. Muir didn’t think the Rams were an option anyway.

3:04 PM

Muir looks at his phone and says, “Here we go.” He has a text message from McGuire that says the Chicago Bears are selecting Southern Utah offensive tackle Braxton Jones with the 168th overall pick.

The text message clearly lifts Muir’s spirits, though he’s kept his emotions largely in check throughout the afternoon. “That’s a great spot,” Muir says.

Murphy sends two more texts: “ON THE BOARD”… “LET’S ROLL NOW.”

Muir claps as the Jones pick is announced on TV. “Couldn’t happen to a nicer kid,” Muir says. Two clients drafted, seven more to go.

Braxton Jones on FaceTime with Murphy McGuire after Chicago Bears after being picked on Day 3.
Braxton Jones on FaceTime with Murphy McGuire after being selected by the Chicago Bears on Day 3.

3:34 PM

Muir answers the phone. It’s Horvath. An NFC North team called the rookie to check in and keep him in the loop. Muir tells Horvath that he thinks the team is probably more of a UDFA option.

3:50 PM

Muir slaps the table. “Scratch them off the board for Zander,” he says. The Patriots double-dip at running back on Day 3, selecting South Carolina’s Kevin Harris with the 183rd overall pick.

4:29 PM

Another Octagon client comes off the board in the sixth round. Muir looks up from his phone. Across the screen, it flashes that Tennessee guard Cade Mays is the 199th overall pick by the Carolina Panthers. (That’s the Tom Brady pick, by the way.)

Shortly after the graphic pops on the screen, Muir receives a text from Newberry, Mays’ primary rep.

4:35 PM

Muir receives a call from an NFC East team. The squad is interested in Horvath as an undrafted free agent. Muir is confident Horvath could still be drafted but is intrigued by the fit. Both sides agree to keep in touch as the draft winds down.

4:53 PM

Connor Heyward of Michigan State becomes the first true fullback off the board. He is taken with the 208th overall pick by the Steelers. It’s an interesting pick, as Muir notes, the Steelers already have Derek Watt.

4:57 PM

Muir’s phone rings, and it’s an AFC West team. They’re checking in on Horvath, but they don’t plan on drafting a fullback. Muir insists Horvath is still in the mix to be drafted. They agree to stay in touch.

5:05 PM

McGuire and Muir have a chat in another room. A couple of teams have checked in on Baylor RB Abram Smith ahead of the seventh round.

5:19 PM

Muir’s dog, Kona, enters the room to check on him. Muir asks Kona to sit for a high-five. The pup follows through in the clutch and then barks (asks) to go outside. Muir returns the favor. Synergy is clearly important during draft weekend.

Kona the Dog on Day 3 of the 2022 NFL Draft
Kona the Dog on Day 3 of the 2022 NFL Draft

5:23 PM

There’s a long-standing belief that some agents prefer that their clients become undrafted free agents rather than seventh-round picks. Muir isn’t in that group.

“Hell no,” Muir says. “Those guys work so hard. Fifteen percent of draft-eligible players will get drafted, and I want my guys to be part of that 15%.”

5:30 PM

Muir checks in on Horvath and explains that the Chargers and another AFC West team are still draft possibilities as the seventh round starts. He also explains that an NFC East team and another AFC West squad could be in the mix for priority free agency.

Muir sends Horvath a list of fullback depth charts and then asks him to call him back after the prospect has reviewed the material.

5:46 PM

The phone rings. It’s the Chargers. Los Angeles doesn’t want to draft a fullback, but Muir is on top of the scout on the other line.

While he’s open to sending Horvath to Los Angeles, Muir tells the Chargers to draft him with one of their two remaining picks, or he could end up elsewhere. They agree to stay in touch regardless.

6:13 PM

The phone rings again. It’s the Chargers … again. The Chargers have decided against using their final seventh-round pick on Horvath. That said, the Chargers really seem to want Horvath. Both sides agree to keep in contact.

6:15 PM

Muir calls Horvath to tell him that the Chargers won’t be drafting him. Muir tells Horvath that he’s still pushing teams to draft him. Nonetheless, the Chargers and an NFC East team are realistic undrafted options. Horvath says he doesn’t have a preference.

6:24 PM

“Here’s another one!” Muir says and points at the TV. Newberry just gave Muir a heads-up text. The Buccaneers select LSU defensive end Andre Anthony with the 248th overall pick.

Anthony suffered a torn ACL during this past season. He recovered in time to run at the LSU Pro Day and produced a 4.69-second 40-yard dash.

The 6-foot-3, 245-pound EDGE produced 3.5 sacks in three games before suffering a season-ending knee injury in his last year at LSU.

6:30 PM

The phone lights up again. It’s the Chargers … for the third time. They still have one pick left, and LA wants Horvath. Muir has other options in undrafted free agency for Horvath, so he, again, tells them to draft his guy if they want him.

6:54 PM

The text that Muir has been waiting for all day has arrived. The Chargers are selecting Horvath with the 260th overall pick, the third-to-last selection in the draft.

Muir was able to leverage the Chargers into drafting Horvath. After nearly seven hours of phone calls, Muir made a significant difference in Horvath’s draft status.

“Let’s go!” Muir screams as the pick flashes across the screen. “Let’s go, Zander!”

Muir, who has been wearing a hat all day, takes it off and breathes a sigh of relief. It’s been a roller-coaster day, but he delivered.

Casey Muir gets a text message from the Chargers on Day 3 of the 2022 NFL Draft
Casey Muir gets a text message from the Chargers on Day 3 of the 2022 NFL Draft

7:00 PM

Muir calls Horvath on FaceTime.

“Let’s go!” Muir yells as Horvath answers. “Pop that champagne and send me a video of it.”

Horvath says he will do that now, and Muir tells him to enjoy this moment. They hang up, and Muir breathes another sigh of relief.

Octagon agent Casey Muir talks to Zander Horvath on the third day of the 2022 NFL Draft.
Octagon agent Casey Muir talks to Zander Horvath on the third day of the 2022 NFL Draft after the Chargers select the rookie with the 260th overall pick.

7:06 PM

The 2022 NFL Draft has officially ended, and the good news continues to roll in.

Baylor running back Abram Smith is signing with the New Orleans Saints, and Minnesota guard Blaise Andries is signing with the Miami Dolphins. SMU wideout Reggie Roberson has also agreed to a deal with the Tennessee Titans.

Eight of Octagon’s nine draft prospects have found NFL homes by Saturday evening.

7:18 PM

Muir puts his feet up on his coffee table and takes another deep breath. He’s still thinking about Horvath’s down-to-the-wire selection.

“I’m so freaking happy for that dude.”

Mike Kaye is the Lead NFL Reporter for Pro Football Network. Follow him on Twitter: @mike_e_kaye.