The NFL Combine is currently taking place this weekend. Teams across the league have their scouts and coaches on site, watching every run, jump, pass, and catch. These players, with an NFL future ahead of them, as well as dollar signs in their eyes, are putting it all on the table to impress. Social media is rife with postings as each feat is being updated seconds after it happens. Meanwhile, in my living room, I have college basketball on both TVs.
I have nothing against the combine, it just doesn’t interest me. Although I believe it does allow teams to get a better look at these players, I just don’t feel it fully exhibits everything that player can offer. Jerry Rice had a very unimpressive combine. He was too slow, some said. Jerry Rice was rarely, if ever, caught from behind in an NFL football game? Why? Because his speed was virtually the same with all the pads on as it was when he ran free of that burden. His upper body strength put him at another level that the combine couldn’t possibly reveal. Granted, Jerry Rice is a special case and you can’t apply that to everyone.
Some people hate taking tests; I’m one of them. A bad combine performance could be attributed to this. You can’t fully get a grasp on how good a quarterback will be under pressure until he is actually under pressure. In some cases you may have one that had a lot of national exposure while in college, but some of your better QBs have come from smaller schools that didn’t have the benefit of being on TV every weekend. Case in point, Tim Couch and Akili Smith were both drafted ahead of Duante Culpepper. I remember sitting in a bar in Cincinnati watching that draft. I told my buddy that someone was going to steal Culpepper because no one knew who he was. He looked at me like I had 3 heads.
The combine is great for a lot of reasons. Just don’t use it to put all your eggs in one basket. There are so many intangibles that none of us could possibly foresee regarding these player’s future. Currently, DK Metcalf is stealing the show. As a huge college football fan, I’ve known of him for a couple years. He was good, above average even. Now he has jumped into the spotlight as a freak of nature. I hope he has a great career, I really do. I’m just not buying into the sudden preconceived awesomeness that is suddenly surrounding him.
When it comes time to draft these players, I base them on what I’ve seen them do in college. There are so many things to take into account too though. Level of competition, what type of teammates they had, what scheme they were playing in, and so many more. I’m high on a couple players this year. If your team needs a TE, you should hope they grab Noah Fant out of Iowa. Need a QB? Drew Lock has a future ahead of him. He is precise, has good size, and can sling it.
However, I’m not going to break down each position or player. There are others out there getting paid a lot of money to do that. Those are just 2 players that I feel can really make a difference. I’m just a guy with a computer and a blog who happens to love the game. I’m interested to see where these players end up though. At least a few of them could change the face of the franchise that drafts them. Stay tuned, the draft is around the corner.