Like every year since 1982, the NFL Combine will bring together the best college players in one place. They will be measured, interviewed and evaluated through various workshops. Because the country is huge, having them all on hand is very practical for NFL franchises and because the university sports level is very disparate, confronting each player with the same exercises is a good indicator.
Where and when ?
It is held in Indianapolis, in the stadium of the Colts. From February 28 to March 7, 2022, the 324 invited players are divided into four groups: see table. Due to pandemic guidelines, players in these groups will do all the exercises on the same day, where before they were measured one day then participated in the “bench press” (bench press) the next day then, performed the others workshops the following day. Some players said they were more afraid of getting hurt.
NFL Network as usual will broadcast all the events, which will also be visible on the NFL website and application.
To be invited, a committee examines the applications of each player who must collect the number of votes necessary to be eligible. Although this is not an exact science, the goal of the committee is to invite the players who will have the best possible chance of being selected during the draft. You can find the full list of players here.
The Combine can be divided into three distinct categories: medical evaluations, interviews and finally agility and position workshops.
The Combine began in the early 1980s to allow each team to carry out medical checks at a neutral, convenient site instead of forcing players to travel from town to town, taking the same exams. A complete check-up is requested from the blood test to joint movements. More than 300 MRIs are also performed. Drug testing is also part of the process. This gives each player a starting point. Each team uses its own scoring system, but a common number system ranging from 1 to 5 is common throughout the league: 1 representing zero issues and 5 being high concerns, the famous red flag. Each case is different, but a “4” or a “5” can get someone off the recruiters’ charts.
Typically, these interviews are the first opportunity for head coaches and general managers to speak with prospects. Most teams also bring in psychologists and specialists to observe each interview. Filmed, these videos are then watched and analyzed to draw up the psychological profile of each player encountered. Staff are entitled to 45 interviews per team, lasting 18 minutes each. Informal interviews take place outside the stadium, a kind of unorganized and messy speed dating, where the craziest questions can be asked in order to assess the degree of reaction of each candidate.
Agility and positioning workshops.
A real job interview under the spotlight: the 40-yard dash, three-cone drill, short shuttle, long shuttle, vertical jump, broad jump, bench press etc, so many exercises that allow teams to match quantitative data with a player’s videos. They make it possible to compare each player equally because they evolve on the same ground, in the same framework and in the same circumstances. The different workshops will be detailed to you tomorrow March 03, 2022.
324 invited players and 262 draft picks in 2022, the competition is tough. So who will be able to raise his rating?