Why it doesn’t matter that players skip NFL Scouting Combine workouts

The NFL Scouting Combine is a way to level the playing field, but some will play a different game...

NFL Combine
NFL Combine / Stacy Revere/GettyImages

Every year around this time, the NFL and college football world come together in Indianapolis. The NFL Scouting Combine is where it's at for the tail-end of the second month of the year. This marquee event is the last one right before the league calendar flips with the start of NFL free agency. It is when many NFL franchises gain precious information about a guy's medicals, measurables and other things.

However, there are a few reasons why it is not imperative for every player of note to do everything that is asked of him at the combine. Some guys may elect to run and throw at their pro days. This is to get a more favorable setting for the prospect of note at his alma mater. See, the combine is all about leveling the playing field for prospects who did not play at the biggest of schools, and nothing more.

So if QB1 doesn't want to throw in Indianapolis, so what? WR1 may elect to run the 40-yard dash during his pro day at State University instead of possibly tweaking a hamstring on the Lucas Oil Stadium synthetic turf. The only things that are of great importance at the combine are to get a player's measurables and see how he does during the interview process. Everything else is gravy.

The combine should be used to figure out how to configure your draft board and that is about it.

NFL Scouting Combine is all about getting measurements and interviews

To me, I don't really care how fast a guy can run in a straight line for 40 yards or how many reps of 225 he can do in the bench press. What I do care about is if he has the type of frame to play in this league. Can he put on weight? How big are his hands? Is he tall enough to play this position? The other thing that matters is how well he conducts himself either on the board or during the interview process.

A player's physical characteristics are important, but so are his character and mental makeup. He could run a 4.2 40, but if he is a complete and total basket case, then no thank you. Should a quarterback be as clueless on a board as I am, that is a total red flag. And should it be a complete and utter chore to speak with him during the interview process, good luck getting a top-30 visit from me!

Ultimately, there is enough tape out there of all these prospects to get a greater sense of who they were in college and what they could be as a professional. This is not an exact science, but we have more information than ever at our disposal. It may be information overload in some capacities, but I don't need a guy to be a hero in his glorified underwear up Indianapolis; I need him to win on Sunday.

So if top players don't want to strut their stuff in Indianapolis, I don't blame them. Kill it at pro day.

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