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Broaddus: A Scout's Notes On What To Expect As The NFL Combine Gets Underway

INDIANAPOLIS -- There is nothing better for a scout than coming to the NFL Combine. Leading up to this event, you have been studying players on tape without being able to see how they look physically. The Combine will give you an accurate height/weight and speed to help you with your evaluation. Some players might play bigger than they are or are slower on tape than they have run. It fills in that part of your evaluation.

Medical information is huge here. There are players that are highly thought of on tape, but I promise you that before this Combine is over, there will be a player or two that these doctors find that will take them off the board or knock them down several rounds. You could also receive good news such as what you might here on Todd Gurley and his knee rehab.

As I type these words, there are agents meeting with front office personnel discussing not only their own players for extensions, but what it will take money-wise to get a player from another team. The league doesn't appreciate tampering, but in this setting there is nothing that they can do about it. Deals are struck here every day.

When I first started coming to the Combine back in 1992, interviews at the players' hotel was a grab and stash affair. I remember a time during the 2001 Combine when, without a first round selection, we had a grab and stash meeting with one Michael Vick.

We were able to make that happen thanks to the fine work of one Nick Eatman, who was able to wrestle Vick away from a team that actually had not only a first round pick but were in the top five, as well.

Today those interviews are assigned and each club has only 15 minutes with the player before they have to rotate to the next team. It's a highly organized way of operating but those old days sure were fun.

There once was a time where players would come to the Combine and not work out, which was a huge disappointment. From a scouting standpoint we never had a problem with a kid that tried and didn't do well. It was the kids that flat turned down the opportunity to work that bothered us the most.

As a front office we were there to see these kids compete regardless of the outcome. Today we are seeing more players take part in the Combine, I believe, because of these workout camps before the event. Agents are spending massive amounts of money to get these players ready and the clubs are benefiting from it.


Keep an eye on when the quarterback and wide receiver groups roll through this weekend. There are a ton of receivers with first round talent, but not that many quarterbacks. If a receiver draws a poor quarterback throwing him the ball, it can make his day look bad. Players are matched up by the first letter of their last name so that's how the workout proceeds. Over the years I have seen some top talent frustrated by the guys they are working with. 

If you are watching the Combine on television, you will not see after the session is over when the clubs request a player to work out at another position. There will be several defensive ends that will work out as linebackers and visa-versa. I heard that Kentucky's Bud Dupree will only work out as a linebacker at the Combine, but that would not keep teams from sending coaches and scouts to Lexington to work him as an end.

We will have an edition of The Draft Show starting on Wednesday and running through Saturday this week of the Combine starting at 4 p.m. CST. Hope you can join us for your daily recap of the day's activities.   

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