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View Full Version : What Importance Do You Place on the Combine?


cmhargrove
02-15-2009, 10:57 AM
Just a quick question here, but maybe it sparks some discussion on different philosophies on the importance of the combine in drafting.

Although i'm very interested in the combine results, i'm starting to feel indifferent towards it.

Hallside
02-15-2009, 11:06 AM
Depends on position and other factors, but I'd say it's very important.

PRBronco
02-15-2009, 11:15 AM
I'm somewhere in between the top two answers, because while I think waaaay too much importance is put on it, it also is a good judge of how serious a prospect is about the game. I get a very prima donna vibe from players who show up to the combine and don't participate without a reason.

gyldenlove
02-15-2009, 11:31 AM
The combine is important for 3 reasons, it gives players a chance to show their limits, it gives teams an opportunity to guage the players mentality and it allows players who have played for bad teams to show that they may be better than they appear on tape.

Northman
02-15-2009, 11:36 AM
Option 4. Its a great way to learn about players that fly under the radar. But its not the be all end all (Kyle Boller) to determine who is great or not.

skpac1001
02-15-2009, 11:36 AM
I think its pretty important as long as it is used as part of an overall evaluation. Game film is most important, but it can mislead you, and the combine provides you with a good, standardized way to isolate skills and check them against game film, and also a way to check out players skills at positions/roles they didn't play in college. I think the combine helps scouts identify players whose game film is misleading, and game film should help scouts identify players who are better at drills then football.

db56
02-15-2009, 11:55 AM
It does have its importance, but some GM's and coaches put waay to much stock in it the numbers. I agree with those that think its a very good measure for the players coming out.

Kaylore
02-15-2009, 12:04 PM
I would say it's very important but not for the reasons in the poll. It really gives you a clearer idea of what you're looking at from a purely physical perspective. It also gives you a few more criteria to appraise a prospects value. Someone on film might play well and have a great work ethic. Then the question is their measurables. If they are elite then it adds value. If they are poor then they become a later round bargain. By the same token, someone can do awesome at the combine but on film they look like crap. Then it's question of whether they're just a workout warrior or if they weren't in a good coaching situation. Usually its the former.

BroncoMan4ever
02-15-2009, 01:24 PM
i have never really thought the combine or pro days were all that important. all it does is showcase the measurables of a player. i honestly don't give a damn about how fast a player runs, how much he can lift or anything like that, because it has no actual bearing on how good a player on the field he would be.

look at TD. he ran like a 4.6-4.7 in the 40 and was overlooked for reasons like that, whereas on the field no one had faster game speed than him.

measurables don't have any bearing on whether or not a player will be any good, game film is what shows how good a player will be or has the ability to be.

measurables are why we are currently stuck with Jarvis Moss.

Punisher
02-15-2009, 01:50 PM
always look for foot work

Pick Six
02-15-2009, 02:12 PM
The "diamonds in the rough" aren't usually the ones invited to combine, but there can be surprises and their individual stock could rise, based on the combine perfomance.

gyldenlove
02-15-2009, 03:09 PM
i have never really thought the combine or pro days were all that important. all it does is showcase the measurables of a player. i honestly don't give a damn about how fast a player runs, how much he can lift or anything like that, because it has no actual bearing on how good a player on the field he would be.

look at TD. he ran like a 4.6-4.7 in the 40 and was overlooked for reasons like that, whereas on the field no one had faster game speed than him.

measurables don't have any bearing on whether or not a player will be any good, game film is what shows how good a player will be or has the ability to be.

measurables are why we are currently stuck with Jarvis Moss.

You can't blame Moss 4.7 40 yard dash and his 16 bench press reps at the combine for him being drafted in the 1st round.

Game film is at least as deceptive as measurables, look at John Mccargo, he looked good on tape but now no team would touch him with a 10 foot pole.

You can always find examples of people who have poor measurables but are very good players and you can find a ton of examples of people who played poorly but with good measurables who are very good players (Eddie Royal is one).

The important thing about the combine is that teams can talk to players and guage how players respond to adversity and competition. Clady last year helped himself by not backing out of the combine after he got injured so teams saw that he was willing to struggle on when it hurt. The same way some players hurt themselves by always being at the back of the line for drills. Those things are very important and you can't see that on game tape.

Rohirrim
02-15-2009, 04:01 PM
Two words: Mike Mamula

cutthemdown
02-15-2009, 04:13 PM
The poll is to narrow to say what the combine is.

It's a chance to meet players and put a face and personality to the name.
You can see how players either rise up or crumble under media and scouting scrutiny.

You can look for injuries that players and agents are trying to hide.

You can make sure players fit your size/speed ratios that you feel your team needs. IE Bill Parcells is really big on players looking the part as far as muscle development goes. He feels those players end up more durable.

Inkana7
02-15-2009, 05:07 PM
You can't blame Moss 4.7 40 yard dash and his 16 bench press reps at the combine for him being drafted in the 1st round.

Game film is at least as deceptive as measurables, look at John Mccargo, he looked good on tape but now no team would touch him with a 10 foot pole.

You can always find examples of people who have poor measurables but are very good players and you can find a ton of examples of people who played poorly but with good measurables who are very good players (Eddie Royal is one).

The important thing about the combine is that teams can talk to players and guage how players respond to adversity and competition. Clady last year helped himself by not backing out of the combine after he got injured so teams saw that he was willing to struggle on when it hurt. The same way some players hurt themselves by always being at the back of the line for drills. Those things are very important and you can't see that on game tape.

John McCargo played on a line with Mario Williams, Manny Lawson and Tank Tyler. Part of the combine is to see if his production was because of that or his own talent. I thought McCargo would produce. Maybe he just didn't get the mental part of the game.

Tombstone RJ
02-15-2009, 05:56 PM
I think the combine is way important cause it lets you find guys who can jump really high, and run really fast. Who cares about tackling anyway?

KCStud
02-15-2009, 06:00 PM
It gets you a chance to see them on a personal level.

It's very important to see how players react. For example, seeing how a CB performs in drills. Speed is one thing, but you get a chance to see if they have fluid hips and can good judgement.

Man-Goblin
02-15-2009, 06:16 PM
It's all about the Wonderlic, baby. I'm feeling a 5 from someone this year.

tsiguy96
02-15-2009, 06:25 PM
not super important. game speed and straight line speed are different, these players spend months training the very specific drills the combine tests, so the numbers are inflated a bit, and great players dont take it very seriously all the time. what it does do however is show you the maximum potential of a player. take that for what its worth though, as the skills are not perfect carry-overs to the NFL

BowlenBall
02-15-2009, 09:13 PM
It's all about the Wonderlic, baby. I'm feeling a 5 from someone this year.

While you're probably being sarcastic here, I think you actually have a good point.

That Vince Young wonderlic score ended up being a pretty good predictor of future performance, didn't it? If the Titans had taken Cutler instead, they'd be holding the Lombardi trophy now.

BroncoMan4ever
02-15-2009, 09:53 PM
While you're probably being sarcastic here, I think you actually have a good point.

That Vince Young wonderic score ended up being a pretty good predictor of future performance, didn't it? If the Titans had taken Cutler instead, they'd be holding the Lombardi trophy now.

and we would have been lucky to finish this year at 4-12

OrangeRising
02-15-2009, 10:13 PM
I'm no expert, but it seems to me that the Combine is just one phase of the evaluation process. It allows the college players to begin understanding the expectations of being a professional athlete, and the NFL get it's first opportunity to see how a sizeable potential investment performs, acts and thinks. Combined with the individual workouts and Pro Days, it seems a little surprising to me that there still so many busts. But then, I guess it'smuch harder to gauge heart.

tsiguy96
02-15-2009, 10:16 PM
I'm no expert, but it seems to me that the Combine is just one phase of the evaluation process. It allows the college players to begin understanding the expectations of being a professional athlete, and the NFL get it's first opportunity to see how a sizeable potential investment performs, acts and thinks. Combined with the individual workouts and Pro Days, it seems a little surprising to me that there still so many busts. But then, I guess it'smuch harder to gauge heart.

i think a lot of "busts" are a result of the team that drafted them not developing them or giving them a fair shake. look at essentially every raiders pick over teh last 5 years

Archer81
02-15-2009, 11:52 PM
This is just one tool out of many scouts and coaches get to use to determine the talent level of incoming college athletes.


:Broncos:

Dedhed
02-16-2009, 02:42 AM
measurables are why we are currently stuck with Jarvis Moss.

Right, it has nothing to do with coaching or playing out of position.

Here are some combine notes on Moss:
Jarvis Moss - Moss exhibited the speed that have some believing he can be an effective 3-4 OLB, with a 4.70 40. Moss did not do any of the agility drills, so his performance at his pro day will determine if he can transition to that position at the next level. At just 250 lbs, Moss is probably too small to be an every down DE in the NFL.

I'm sure that his performance in a single drill was the reason we drafted him, and that it had nothing to do with him terrorizing OSU in the National Championship game.

BroncoMan4ever
02-16-2009, 03:25 AM
Right, it has nothing to do with coaching or playing out of position.

Here are some combine notes on Moss:
Jarvis Moss - Moss exhibited the speed that have some believing he can be an effective 3-4 OLB, with a 4.70 40. Moss did not do any of the agility drills, so his performance at his pro day will determine if he can transition to that position at the next level. At just 250 lbs, Moss is probably too small to be an every down DE in the NFL.

I'm sure that his performance in a single drill was the reason we drafted him, and that it had nothing to do with him terrorizing OSU in the National Championship game.

his measurables were what made Bates like him, not necessarily the skill. Bates was looking for guys who fit the body type mold for the defense he was running.
Moss was a lucky recipient of fitting the mold of what Bates wanted. His lack of combine numbers did nothing to sway Bates mind on him. and the reason he terrorized OSU in that National Championship game, was due to the talent all around him.

the guy had 1 year of actual college play, and had battled illness for a few seasons before his 1 year. the point being, Bates liked the measurables on Moss, and didn't really look into seeing if his ability or lack of ability, would translate to the NFL.

that's how i see it. it wasn't his actual numbers he put up at the combine it was his personal measurables that currently have us stuck with his no talent ass.

Mediator12
02-16-2009, 07:37 AM
his measurables were what made Bates like him, not necessarily the skill. Bates was looking for guys who fit the body type mold for the defense he was running.
Moss was a lucky recipient of fitting the mold of what Bates wanted. His lack of combine numbers did nothing to sway Bates mind on him. and the reason he terrorized OSU in that National Championship game, was due to the talent all around him.

the guy had 1 year of actual college play, and had battled illness for a few seasons before his 1 year. the point being, Bates liked the measurables on Moss, and didn't really look into seeing if his ability or lack of ability, would translate to the NFL.

that's how i see it. it wasn't his actual numbers he put up at the combine it was his personal measurables that currently have us stuck with his no talent ass.

This is another assumption on Moss. It does not make it right or wrong though, just an opinion. I thought Moss was the second most natural pass rusher in that draft behind Gaines Adams. He also looked very good in LB drills with fluid hips and change of direction in that combine.

Jamaal Anderson was a product of that Arkansas unique front defense that always got him favorable matchups one on one with the weaker OT or TE. Woodley and Spencer made the shift to the 3-4, but were not as natural going after the QB or in coverage.

Moss has talent and still can be a player IMHO. This is another incidence of drafting a player who excels at one thing and the teams switches what they are looking for after drafting him. This is why the team needs a defensive scheme and identity to build upon. You can not develop players like that. And Moss needed that first year to develop his Skills and get snaps. His injuries did not help and then they changed their fronts 3 times in a calendar year. Hopefully, they find his niche and let him develop at 3-4 OLB.

Mediator12
02-16-2009, 07:50 AM
The combine is a place to put pressure on young kids to see how they respond with the whole world watching. The biggest thing is to see how the players respond mentally to high paced sessions that are run like an NFL practice, can they respond to coaching tips quickly in drills, and are they able to self evaluate and adjust mentally in an interview with the teams.

The drills are a means to an end, but are not the real story. The real story are the psych tests, interviews, and mental ability needed to play at the next level. Basically, can the young guy focus to be an NFL player after being the big man on campus. Are they motivated and competent to train to prepare for the combine? Once they get there, are they able to perform with all the lights on? And finally, to do the medical and pysch evals that they need to pass in order to be drafted high.

It is a pressure packed job interview with all the teams watching and observing how they respond to the stress. Coaches actually grade the drills like they would a normal practice to see if the player is getting it and can do what is necessary.

That being said, it is only the final part of the eval process. Teams use it to confirm or deny things they know about players. IF a player has a weakness, they will put them in a situation that would expose it and see how the player would respond. It has a lot of merit in some GM's minds to see who is willing to compete and who will listen to their agent and be conservative and not participate.

I love the combine as it is in INDY every year, but it has a small and definite use in the total evaluation process.

Broncoman13
02-16-2009, 08:08 AM
The combine is a place to put pressure on young kids to see how they respond with the whole world watching. The biggest thing is to see how the players respond mentally to high paced sessions that are run like an NFL practice, can they respond to coaching tips quickly in drills, and are they able to self evaluate and adjust mentally in an interview with the teams.

The drills are a means to an end, but are not the real story. The real story are the psych tests, interviews, and mental ability needed to play at the next level. Basically, can the young guy focus to be an NFL player after being the big man on campus. Are they motivated and competent to train to prepare for the combine? Once they get there, are they able to perform with all the lights on? And finally, to do the medical and pysch evals that they need to pass in order to be drafted high.

It is a pressure packed job interview with all the teams watching and observing how they respond to the stress. Coaches actually grade the drills like they would a normal practice to see if the player is getting it and can do what is necessary.

That being said, it is only the final part of the eval process. Teams use it to confirm or deny things they know about players. IF a player has a weakness, they will put them in a situation that would expose it and see how the player would respond. It has a lot of merit in some GM's minds to see who is willing to compete and who will listen to their agent and be conservative and not participate.

I love the combine as it is in INDY every year, but it has a small and definite use in the total evaluation process.

This right here is why guys like Clay Mathews and James Laurinaitis will be higher picks than their "triangle numbers" would have them be. Don't get me wrong, both guys should score fairly well in their individual workouts. But, the passion and ability to grasp the mental aspects of the game will help distinguish them. As well as being the hard working, team leader types and you have a recipe for the Eddie Royal type of player. Guys that work hard and put the team first are tough to come by.

People are high on Ray Lewis and he is one of those types. Sure he's had his issues off the field, but on the field he is not only a playmaker but a leader. I think he had that ability coming out of college, but it is a skill he's focused on over the years. I think you have to look at the guys coming out and try to determine if they have that ability and if they care enough about the game to hone that skill. I think that's part of what Med is talking about with regard to the self evaluation and adjustments. A good leader doesn't need someone else to critique him, he's harder on himself than anybody else could be!

400HZ
02-16-2009, 08:11 AM
The combine is the best time for scouts to bust out the tape measure and get some definitive bubble measurements.