NFL Combine: Is it valuable?

The NFL’s season games are over, but football is not. The NFL draft is near, which means there is plenty of time for football gurus to study and talk about potential NFL stars. A major step for the players coming from college to the NFL is the Scouting Combine, which is a showcase of amateur players to demonstrate their physical abilities to potential interested teams.

The Combine has many tests for the athletes, but the most well known events are the 40-yard dash, bench press, vertical and broad jump, team interviews, and the Wonderlic test, which is an intelligence test. There are also position specific events for players, for example throwing to receivers for quarterbacks.

Although I am not a big fan of the combine (which I will explain later), I do see some value for the week-long event. This can improve or hurt a player’s draft stock, which is partially the reason I have a problem with it. I believe that what you do on the field should determine draft stock. So what if the projected best lineman cannot bench-press 225 pounds more than 20 times? As long as he can do their main job of blocking for the quarterback (which will have been proven if he is the top lineman), I don’t care how many reps he can do.

The most useless event, in my opinion, is the 40-yard dash. This is the major focus and a lot of stock is put into it. If you have ever seen the dash, you can see that the players wear next to nothing (a tight shirt and compression shorts). Players rarely run in a straight line during a game, which they do in the 40-yard dash. Why would you put a lot of stock into this when players will be wearing 20+ pounds of gear on the field? Don’t you think the extra 20 pounds will add to the 40 time?

In my opinion there are two good parts of the combine. The first, is to make sure players have maintained their physical state that they played with, and second is to interview them for maturity and how well they would fit in with the team.

Although I personally don’t think the combine is valuable  I can see why many people enjoy and are interested in seeing the results from players. This can bring excitement to fans and to the organizations of teams.