NFL Combine: Maintaining Perspective, Handling Updates

The Scouting Combine is officially underway in Indianapolis and while this is a really fun and exciting time, it can also be extremely frustrating.

You will have the players who drop out of certain drills last minute, some players will have shocking measurables, whether that be positive or negative, other players will show some red flags in their medicals… however you look at it, something will shock you this week.

You will hear stories about teams meeting with particular players. You will hear about teams meeting with different agents.

The main point here is that you will hear a lot of things. You’ll see a lot of things through these drills as well. But no matter what you see or hear, do not overreact.

Just in case you didn’t understand the first time, Do Not Overreact!!!

I can’t stress enough how often people will blow things out of proportion at the Combine. Teams are going to talk to a lot of players. Different agents represent tons of different players. There will be a lot of smokescreens and lies being spread. Do not take everything as fact.

Then there are the complete overreactions to player decisions, measurables, and how they test.

Jared Goff has small hands? Guess who doesn’t care? Me! Plenty of teams also do not care as well. That guy who plays quarterback for the Dallas Cowboys… he doesn’t have very large hands and I would say he’s done just fine.

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Jared Goff played just fine despite reportedly having small hands, so I won’t overreact and I’d gladly take him fourth overall

Then there will be some of the players who don’t run as fast as you thought they would. One player who most likely was going to fall into this category was Laquon Treadwell. Plenty of people were complaining about Treadwell’s lack of speed and I actually think it was a poor decision for him not to run at the Combine. I was not going to worry about him no matter what he ran and I think plenty of teams would agree.

When will you ever see a player run a straight line? I am more concerned with how a player speeds through cuts, how quick their get-off is (10 yard splits) and their overall explosion numbers.

The Combine is about checking boxes. If a player shows you something you didn’t expect, whether positive or negative, that is when it is something noteworthy. You are wanting to confirm things you see on tape or debunk some issues that you may see.

For instance, Byron Jones’ jump was something that drew major attention. Trae Waynes’ forty time opened eyes, because that kind of speed was something that wasn’t seen on tape. Vic Beasley changed his body for the next level and you wanted to see if that came with any loss of athleticism.

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Byron Jones shocked the world with his broad jump at the 2015 Combine

So, while you watch the Combine, check boxes.

Does X or Y player show the speed you thought that they would? Do they show the power and explosion you wanted to see? Did they bench as much as you thought? Are they as tall as you thought?

Check boxes and temper your takes.

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Trae Waynes showed great speed in his 40-yard-dash

If Jared Goff comes in under 6 feet, for some bizarre out of this world reason, then that is a red flag.

If Jared Goff has small hands that doesn’t bother me. Does his film show a guy that can throw the football? It does, and that makes me not worry about his hands.

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Vic Beasley was a little undersized at Clemson, but he showed up to the Combine looking like a big big guy

Tape trumps all, so let the Combine confirm what you see or trigger red flags.

What do you think?


Written by Nick Cocchiaro

I've been blogging about sports and music for almost eight years now. I also work in media relations for a New York sports team, so I understand the bridge between the outlets writing about a team and the team monitoring content.

I hope to bring something new to Inside The Star, getting deep into draft work, breakdowns and I always come with a strong and passionate opinion. I'm very active on Twitter, so ask questions, comment on stuff, etc. and I will almost definitely respond to you in some sort of debate!


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