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NFL Combine Does Not Properly Evaluate Players; Beauty Is In Eye Of Beholder

Feb 27, 2020, 3:19 PM
Utah defensive lineman Bradlee Anae answers questions from the media during the NFL Scouting Combin...
Utah defensive lineman Bradlee Anae answers questions from the media during the NFL Scouting Combine on February 27, 2020 at the Indiana Convention Center in Indianapolis, IN. (Photo by Zach Bolinger/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)
(Photo by Zach Bolinger/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)

SALT LAKE CITY, Utah โ€“ย The NFL Combine is underway in Indianapolis. The Combine is both necessary and not, according to KSL Sports’ Scott Mitchell.

Getting an invite is a good indicator of being drafted but there is so much drama at the Combine with the interview questions that can be weird, funny, and completely out of bounds.

However, not going would hurt a prospect’s draft stock and the only players who might get away with not going or barely participating – barring injury like Alabama’s Tua Tagovailoa – are the top of the line players like LSU’s Joe Burrow or Ohio State’s Chase Young. The rest better show up and participate.

Mitchell who spent over a decade in the NFL really dislikes the combine because of the mistreatment of players he believes happens.

“As a person, as a human being with feelings and emotion, I hated the combine,” Mitchell said. “It is the most degrading, humiliating and it is like being sold at the stockyard. They make you do these silly drills that no bearing on if you can or can not play. It is 100 percent about figuring out how athletic you are and how you rate against other players.”

Being athletic enough is a big deal when it comes to playing in the NFL but Mitchell argued there is a lot more than just being bigger, stronger, and faster than your peers.

“[The combine] doesn’t tell you about heart, the intuition or instincts that you have about playing the game of football,” Mitchell added. “Go look at Tom Brady’s combine photo. It is the worst and it is beyond terrible, I would be so humiliated. What they do is parade you in front of everyone and there is no shame and they are poking and prodding and testing.”

 

Questions Can Get Weird

While the physical aspect of the combine is one thing and can be a bit embarrassing to the players for how it is handled. The mental aspect of questions can also take a toll on these future pros. Some questions are relevant but others dig deep into your history and may not be accurate anymore to describe one’s character.

“They start bringing up [questions] asking things like, ‘so you in third grade you broke your whatever, or why did you go to jail,'” Mitchell added. “There is so much invasion and it is the most humiliating and uncomfortable thing in the world.”

A counterpoint co-host Alex Kirry brought up is that the teams are doing as much research as possible due to the large investment they are about to make and that this type of information is important.

“The whole thing is that ‘we are going to pay you a lot of money, potentially, we might draft in front of other people. We want to make sure we have everything right on you,'” Kirry said. “[Utah State quarterback] Jordan Love experienced this and was asked why he threw 17 interceptions this year and felt like it was good to come out. …He is having to explain himself saying, ‘I didn’t have the support around me that I usually do, we changed coaches, bla bla bla.’ He had to put himself out there. It is a lot better to do that than it is to talk about three felons you have on your record.”

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