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Scouting The NFL Combine - My Preview

The most intense four day job interview these players will ever experience.


People debate the important of the combine, people will say it doesn't matter what they can do in shorts - it's what they can do on the field. I think that's a valid point, but the most important aspect of the combine is one that we, the fan, won't actually see. The medical examinations and the interview process are the two key elements to this weekend and some players draft stock may well hinge on the result of his examination (Jarvis Jones) or his interview (Manti Te'o).

However that doesn't mean that the actual drills are a waste of time. I like seeing the Bench Press, it can show you how committed the prospect was in college to his weight program, the explosion in the 40 yard dash is usually more important to me than the prospects actual 40 time. The vertical and broad jump are all about the lower body and how much power is generated through the legs and hips. The three cone drill is a great test of change of direction for an athlete and a running back/wide receiver will put a lot of work in here. With the shuttle run I'm looking mostly at linebackers and defensive backs, i want to see the lateral ability and short area quickness.

So every part of the combine has it's place. So whether you are watching it just so you have football on your television or you're doing your best Mel Kiper impression, it's well worth tuning in.

So what will you see? well here is the line-up for the next couple of days:

Saturday, Feb. 23: Tight ends, offensive linemen, special teams
Sunday, Feb. 24: Quarterbacks, running backs, wide receivers
Monday, Feb. 25: Defensive linemen, linebackers
Tuesday, Feb. 26: Defensive backs

Some notes from the combine already. Chance Warmack measured in at 6'2, there has never been an interior lineman drafted in the first round under 6'3, personally I don't think his lack of an inch matters with his height when his arm length is 34 3/4 inches. He's still a first round prospect and I would still draft him in the top 20. Once in a generation type player.

Asuza Pacific OT Luke Marquardt was the talk of the scouts yesterday, there is always a small school guy who turns heads. 6'8, 315lb's and arms over 34", that's impressive but how does his game match-up with his physical presence? I've never once seem him play so unfortunately I don't have the answer for you but someone will fall in love with him.

Jarvis Jones has decided to sit out the drills at the combine, it's not surprising to hear he is waiting until his pro day, but he'll be poked and prodded more than any prospect in Indy, so he'll still have a busy weekend with 32 doctors giving im examinations and consulting his medical records.

Matt Barkley will receive hype this weekend, just wait for it. He had to answer several questions regarding his arm strength at his presser yesterday but by all indications he is an excellent board man, remember when we heard the Jets were blown away by Mark Sanchez's board session, his ability to recognize situations and accurately describe how he would react in certain situations, picking up verbiage and identifying blitzes - yer well Barkley is cut from the same cloth - moral of the story is, board sessions don't always translate to performance under pressure.

Tight ends were impressive during the weigh-ins as noted on NFL, still think that Notre Dame's Tyler Eifert is the most rounded right end prospect and although we are not in the right position to draft him, he would work in our new offensive system. Many scouts are saying that we need to look out for Travis Kelce of Cincinnati so I'll be taking a look at him later on today.

My favourite presser yesterday was probably that of Marcus Lattimore, I'm a massive fan of Marcus and if it wasn't for injuries derailing his college career, I firmly believe we are talking about him as a first round prospect right now. Unfortunately he's likely to either go in the 5th-6th-7th region or go undrafted, it depends how much a team is willing to take a chance on him. There is still question marks over whether he will be able to play in 2013 but he had an optimistic tone and it looks like he's going to put in the work to get back as soon as possible.

Geno Smith said he's not an option-read quarterback, or a running quarterback, but he thinks he can fit into any offensive system,

Colin Klein said that he'll only workout as a quarterback and nothing else.

Denard Robinson will have to prove to scouts that he can catch the football, I saw some footage of him catching in Mobile, Alabama and it wasn't pretty. You have to get the ball in his hands before he can do anything and if he has crocodile arms, that's not going to be easy.

There is a lot to watch, use this thread as a discussion while watching. Any prospects you spot that you think we need to look at, pop them in the comments.