A Look at the NFL Scouting Combine: The Underwear Olympics


Feb 27, 2012; Indianapolis, IN, USA; South Carolina Gamecocks defensive lineman Melvin Ingram runs the 40 yard dash during the NFL Combine at Lucas Oil Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Brian Spurlock-USA TODAY Sports

Now that we are just days away from the NFL scouting combine in Indianapolis, I figured it would be appropriate take a look at what the combine is all about.  Everyone and their dog, myself included, has been preparing mock drafts for all 32 teams.  My pre-combine mock draft will be out shortly.

The fact of the matter is all of that will soon change after the NFL scouting combine begins.  At that point players will have moved either up or down in the eyes of many.  Quite frankly, the combine shouldn’t drastically change anyone’s perception of any of the players.

That being said, it does, to a degree, help the draft stock of some participants that wow the scouts and front offices around the NFL.  There aren’t many things that NFL draftees can do in the combine drills to really hurt their draft stock.   But that’s not to say that it doesn’t happen at times.

Game tape is, and should be, king in the evaluation process.  It is my opinion, which is shared by many, the two most important parts of the combine are the medical evaluations and the personal interview process.  Both of those aspects most certainly help teams answer any additional questions that can not be found by watching the players’ performances on game tape.

It is kind of funny to recount the evolution of the NFL’s annual underwear olympics.  The combine began as a private affair in Tampa Bay in 1982.  Today it is one of the most highly anticipated events on the entire NFL calendar.  NFL Network now covers all of the drills throughout the process.

The events that take place are as follows:

40 yard dash

Shuttle run

Bench press

Vertical Jump

Broad Jump

3 cone drill

Positional specific drills

The way I look at it is we get more pertinent exposure to the sport we love.  Although it is said that there is no longer an offseason in the NFL, the fans are already chomping at the bit to move on to the 2013 season.  Especially the fans of teams that didn’t make the playoffs.  Furthermore, the fans of teams that haven’t made the postseason for three consecutive years.

For the actual combine invitees this is the biggest interview of their lives up to this point.  It never ceases to amaze me that some players will indeed get in trouble leading up to the combine or fail a drug test a the combine.  To go into the combine knowing that you will be drug tested and still fail is one of the dumbest things in all of sports.

It would seem that most people’s favorite combine event is the forty yard dash.  I would have to say that it is mine.  I also like watching the quarterbacks throw deep passes to the wide receivers forcing them to track the ball.

One event that will have a different look to it this year is the bench press.  The players will still be putting up 225 pounds as many times as possible.  But it has been reported that strength and conditioning coach John Lott will not be at the combine.  Lott had a way of encouraging the players that, perhaps, could help them get that extra couple of reps on the bench.

“Get your mind right!”  “Hup, Huuup!!!”

I will miss that a little.  It was entertaining, to say the least.  Plus, I can’t lift 225 even once.

In conclusion, the NFL scouting combine is a little over two days away.  It is one more step towards the NFL draft which has also become one of the biggest events of the year in the NFL.  We all love the draft.  I can not wait for the draft.

As I mentioned a couple of weeks ago, a group of us, including fellow staff writer from BoltBeat, Greg Williams, will be attending the draft live at Radio City Music Hall.  And you better believe we’ll be hooking up the BoltBeat community with interviews, articles, and videos of the event.

Thanks a lot for reading and feel free to leave a comment at the bottom.