Keeping the NFL Combine in Perspective

The NFL Combine is upon us and as freaks like me set up their television recorders for the event, Field Yates at ESPN has a timely reminder for us:

“32 players NOT invited to 2014 Combine were drafted, while 111 players invited to Indy were not selected.”

Scouts for some of the better organizations in the NFL sometimes talk about “anchoring” their board. What that means is that these organizations get their scouts in a room pre-combine and go through every player they are interested in, assigning them the round that they think these players should be taken in (thus “anchoring” them to that spot). After that, the better organizations stick to this board, only tweaking it here and there based upon workout numbers and, sometimes, further tape study. They never let a player jump up or down by more than a round or so from here on out.

Bottom line, players can affect their draft status with a good combine showing, especially players with off the field issues in the interview room. But for most of the better organizations, it can really only be a tie breaker with all else being equal. Matt Miller at the Bleacher Report may have put it best:

“This reminder is for me as well as you: Don’t buy into the combine hype. Fast times in the 40-yard dash are impressive, but they have to be validated on tape.”

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