Every year prospective football players head to Indianapolis to show the world what skills they possess. They participate in drills including bench pressing 225 pounds as many times as they can, a timed 40 yard dash, jumping drills, and three-cone drill. These drills are expected to give NFL scouts and coaching staffs an idea of the talent each athlete possesses. They claim players can use this time to change the mind of scouts who are not sold on a particular player being top ten or a first round pick, they would need a good combine.
However, players have decided to skip and make the people interested in watching go to them at their stomping grounds where they made a name for themselves. For instance, highly scouted and well-known Texas A&M quarterback Johnny Manziel is doing just that. Instead of performing in front of the famous twelfth man, he will be showing off his skills against nobody in front of a much smaller group of people.
All drills are done individually with no pads or helmet, no game plan, and most importantly nowhere near the game time atmosphere. How can you measure a player without any of these? If you don’t think that’s important, then tell that to the fans of New York, Oakland, Cleveland, and Philadelphia. Tell that to Jerry Jones.
The combine is useless. It’s something that diehard football fans tune into, but these are the same people who will watch the pro bowl because it’s the last “game” of the season. Nothing comes out of the combine. The people in the media can act like it helps or hurts a players case, but honestly, it all comes down to the players will to learn the game at the next level and be able to compete against some of the best football players in the world.
The highly demanding position of quarterback is one that especially be measured at the NFL combine. Who cares if Peyton Manning or Aaron Rodgers can run a 4.5 forty yard dash? I don’t and in the long run, all fans don’t. If they can throw the ball with precision and enough power to get it down the field and play sixty minutes of calm level-headed football, they are fine. Rodgers numbers weren’t impressive, and it showed when he fell to twenty second in the NFL draft, but the Green Bay Packers got a steal of a draft pick and can say they’ve have quarterback issues. Defending Super Bowl champion quarterback Russell Wilson has been doubted his entire career, and he too didn’t put up great numbers at the combine. However, they both earned the respect from the league and the fans, and that’s what matters at the end of the day.
They show and prove that heart and determination cannot be measured at a combine. They continue to make their game the best it can be and proven they are winners at the most elite level of football. The combine is overrated, but teams that draft in the late teens or twenties thank the teams in the top half of the draft that pass on the next level of competition because of what they see in a half hour. Not the competitive side of them most show off for years in college football.