The NFL Combine: Modeling Contest or Test of Skill?

Posted: March 3, 2010 in NCAA Football, NFL

Now that the 2010 NFL combine has come and gone, though not as fast as most would have liked, what we do know about this years draft class is that they can run really fast, jump really high and participate in organized drills that most 10 year-olds can! What does the NFL combine really tell NFL team personnel? Fabulous question and I would say not much. We knew Ndamukong Suh was a beast of a man and after doing 32 reps on the bench press at the combine it only proved we were right. We knew defensive backs Eric Berry and Taylor Mays were fast and athletic, but after both finished with top-notch speeds in the 40-yard dash, it only strengthened what we already knew.

If I had to summarize the NFL combine, it would only take four words: gigantic male underwear party. I mean where else are you going to find athletic, strong men prancing around in tight outfits besides Chip and Dales. Honestly, I feel like strippers in Vegas wear more clothing than the combine participants. Would it really hurt the players to throw on a pair of shorts? Either way, I feel the entire point of the combine is to get a closer look at those athletes who are “under the radar” for most of the college football season. Each team’s general manager is looking to find that diamond in the rough! It may be the equivalent of finding a needle in a haystack, but if a team can manage to find a Tom Brady-like talent in one of the later rounds, it could potentially lead to millions and millions of dollars in future revenue, increased apparel sales and could be the start of a potential dynasty. Playing the NFL draft is like buying a lotto ticket; your odds of winning are slim-to-none, but you always know one team will come out the clear-cut winner.

I know when you look back at this year’s combine it was a rather down year in terms of how many high profile college players failed to compete on one level or the other: Jimmy Clausen (foot), Dez Bryant (hamstring), Colt McCoy (shoulder), Tim Tebow (throwing mechanics), etc. However, where players may have failed to dazzle on the field, they likely wowed scouts and general managers with their interviews. I think if you asked Tim Tebow, Sam Bradford and others what they would expect to be asked in their interviews, they would likely say character type issues, cover schemes, reading defenses, etc. I think that most would find these interviews to be a breeze and of the utmost ease, however Oklahoma Sooners stud defensive tackle, Gerald McCoy was thrown an absolute curve ball by Cleveland Browns general manager, Mike Holmgren when he was asked the bicurious question, “jock strap or G-string?” I would have given props to Gerald if he had come back with just as odd a response like, pull down my pants and check for yourself! Well, on that note I am going to close up shop on this article and as Pardon the Interruption’s Tony Kornheiser says, “Mike Holmgren go to your room!”

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