In a couple short weeks NFL fans will have forgotten about the Super Bowl, pundits will have stopped the Eli vs. Peyton Manning comparisons (here's my take on that subject in case you missed it a few weeks ago) and everyone will turn their focus tothe NFL Draft. The event that gets the most attention, and is the most overrated in my opinion, is the NFL Combine in Indianapolis. It's overrated because it's more about track and field and weightlifting than football. It does have a place in the scoutingprocess, but it can be improved.
NFL teams scout college players throughout the college football season and throughout the Bowl Season as well. Once all of the nfl jersey 2012 nike
bowl games are over there are two "All-Star Games" for college seniors, the East-West Shrine Game and the Senior Bowl. If you aren't familiar with the Senior Bowl (draft eligible juniors are not able to participate) the interesting fact about it is that NFL scouts and player personnel folks focus on the week of practice leading up to the game and many don't even stick around to watch the game itself. The reason for this is because the practices feature many one-on-one drills and practices take place in pads, not shorts and helmets. In one-on-one drills you can get a feel for these players when they compete against some of the best competition in the country. You can see how an offensive tackles moves against a quick defensive end. You can watch a center or guard and see how they hold up against a bull-rushing 315 pound defensive tackle . Wide receivers and defensive backs compete and you can see who has a knack for getting open or breaking on a ball. Linebackers have a chance to read and react to plays and make tackles on running backs running to the boundary. At the combine you don 'Business Listings t the get any of this.
With that as a backdrop, here is what I'd propose for the NFL Combine. Over the first couple days players can still be measured and tested in all of the same drills such as 40-yard dash, short shuttle, etc. One changeto those tests would be that all players are required to wear a helmet and shoulder pads for all of the speed and agility tests. They can be tested without the helmets and pads too to compare them to previous players, but over time this would become thestandard. Then when those are over come up with several "football" drills for each position where players compete against a player (s) on the opposite side of the ball. These wouldn't be full-pad practices but helmets and shoulder pads wouldbe required. There would be no tackling to reduce the nike fooyball jersey
potential for injuries which is always a concern throughout the draft process. Much like the Senior Bowl, this would give scouts a much more accurate way to evaluate players than seeing them run around in spandex.Additionally, the combine is open to everyone eligible for the draft so both juniors and seniors could compete in the event.
Is this a perfect solution, probably not yet, but I'd guess scouts would come away with a much more accurate evaluation of players under this scenario than the current setup. When you tune in to the NFL Network to watch the combine this year, keep these ideas in the back of your mind and tell me if you agree.