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Combine serves a purpose, but its influence is overrated

Discussion in 'Draft Zone' started by Doomsday101, Feb 22, 2012.

  1. Doomsday101

    Doomsday101 Well-Known Member

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    The reason the NFL Scouting Combine came into existence was to have an efficient and economical way to obtain a physical on 300-plus players. It's the first time you can have your medical personnel check out these players and that was the main thing I wanted to get out of the combine during my days with the Washington Redskins and Houston Texans.

    My pet peeve about the perception of the combine is that it has a great deal of influence on how a team looks at a player. The biggest impact on a player's grade -- by far -- is how he played on tape. The combine is just a tool to fill in areas you don't have information on, mainly medical condition and measurables.

    After the physical, the next most important portion to me is the position drills. This gives you a chance to see players at each position execute drills, one right after another so you can judge who is the better athlete and/or technician. When two players are rated close together on tape, a workout can provide some clarity. The combine provides the first opportunity to compare two players side-by-side in drills.

    http://www.nfl.com/combine/story/09...ut-its-influence-is-overrated-?module=HP11_cp
  2. robert70x7

    robert70x7 Active Member

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    Well put. I think the one of the most important and underrated aspects of the combine is the player interviews. This is a chance for teams to talk to a player and learn more about them to see if they would fit in the locker room as well as the philosophy of the team.

    I would hope intelligent GMs do not put much stock in how fast a stripped down football player in track spikes can run a 40 yard dash.
  3. burmafrd

    burmafrd Well-Known Member

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    That is why I have always thought they should do all the drills in full pads.
  4. dallasfaniac

    dallasfaniac Active Member

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    So he starts with the combine is overrated and then goes on to all the things that make the combine such an important step in the process. How about just say 40 yard is overrated and leave it at that?
  5. dallasfaniac

    dallasfaniac Active Member

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    Agreed.
  6. Doomsday101

    Doomsday101 Well-Known Member

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    It is over rated when you use the Combine and throw out the actual play of these guys. Combine is a tool for the NFL but it is not the whole story. You can have great workout guys who come game day do not get the job done. The play on the field actually competing should account for more than just workout sessions in shorts.

    This is why in his opening statement he says “The biggest impact on a player's grade -- by far -- is how he played on tape”
  7. Verdict

    Verdict Well-Known Member

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    I think the generalization of this opinion by Casserly is overly broad. Of course a player's on field performance is the primary factor which goes into player evaluation and grading a player, but the combine results often matter ..... almost too much. Workout warriors' draft status get elevated based on combine numbers to an often unreasonable degree.

    Likewise, a player like DeMarcus Ware's draft position undoubtably sky rocketed based in large part on his combine performance, and rightly so.
  8. arglebargle

    arglebargle Well-Known Member

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    Charley Casserly is not someone I'd go to for GM wisdom, but this seems pretty accurate.

    The combine gives some useful ancillary info, some of which you can't get by watching tape. It's about as level a playing field as you are going to get in testing. But going all Al Davis on the 40 yard dash numbers will generally cause you to fail.

    If you are drafting football players, you need to check out how they play football....
  9. arglebargle

    arglebargle Well-Known Member

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    While this is true, it would lead to a logistical nightmare.
  10. dallasfaniac

    dallasfaniac Active Member

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    That's splitting hairs though. Do a couple fans like Cowboyjoe get enamored with 40 times and elevate players on their boards? Sure. But for the most part, most knowledgeable fans use the combine results to answer valid questions about players and therefore the combine is not overrated. If an offensive lineman has a rep as being soft and then shows up at the combine and lifts poorly, it would validate concerns. I seriously doubt many fans base their ratings solely on combine work, because several of the guys that posted the best 40 times in their position were hardly talked about over the years.

    Edit: I guess I should expand on this. If a few fans and the Oakland Raiders is all we have to go by, I hardly call that overrated. If more than 50% of the teams and fans felt this way, sure, but one or two crackpots does not make the entire event overrated.
  11. Doomsday101

    Doomsday101 Well-Known Member

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    Like many around the NFL you go from genius to idiot quickly. As a GM in Washington his teams went to 4 SB and won 3 at that time many considered him a pretty smart GM
  12. Doomsday101

    Doomsday101 Well-Known Member

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    Combines are still just a tool after they are over teams will be making contact with player for personal workouts and workouts at the players pro days. Heck guys like RGIII is only going to run the 40 he is not going to throw at the combines at least according to what he has said. These workout are going to give teams more information but the main thing is still their play on the field during the season. Casserly also points out it is helpful when you have a couple of guys you like and have them graded fairly even that these workouts may help sway you towards one over the other.
  13. arglebargle

    arglebargle Well-Known Member

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    As a Cowboys fan, I was sad to see Casserly leave the Redskins. He miscued on a number of high draft picks. And not just that they didn't perform as expected, but that they were questionable to begin with. Though he did manage to steal Mike Ditka's shirt that one year. :)

    His performance as Houston's GM kept them in the cellar for years. In the Salary Cap era, he did not impress me.
  14. Doomsday101

    Doomsday101 Well-Known Member

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    Again he has had his moments, if you are in the game long enough most will have those ups and downs. Heck Tom Landry was a great coach but most did not seem to feel that way in the mid and late 80's same with Gil Brandt, when Dallas draft picks were not panning out.
  15. dallasfaniac

    dallasfaniac Active Member

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    I wholeheartedly agree, I was merely arguing the fact that it is overrated. Perhaps in the past Casserly overrated it or the Raiders or a small percentage of the fanbase, but for the most part people understand that the combine is a tool to use in addition to all the other information at play. To suggest that it is overrated is to say that most people think it is more than it is, and I don't feel that is the case.
  16. Doomsday101

    Doomsday101 Well-Known Member

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    I don't think he is only talking about fans but teams who end up passing on a player because the combine workout did not go great. We see players rise and fall due to the combines and I think you do have to be careful as to the weight you put behind it.
  17. xwalker

    xwalker Well-Known Member

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    Different people use the same tool differently. The combine/forty-times are probably the worst thing that ever happened to Raiders fans, lol.

    On the opposite end from Al Davis, if you routinely use high picks on players that have sub-standard measureables, then your probability of a bust is going to be higher than the average.
  18. dallasfaniac

    dallasfaniac Active Member

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    When you have people like David 'White Rice' Ball and Terrell Hudgins with tremendous college production but against lower competition, it's nice to have the combine to weed players like them out.

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