Chargers Draft

History reveals which combine drills matter to Chargers’ coaches

INDIANAPOLIS, IN - FEBRUARY 25: Head coach Anthony Lynn of the Los Angeles Chargers speaks to the media at the Indiana Convention Center on February 25, 2020 in Indianapolis, Indiana. (Photo by Michael Hickey/Getty Images) *** Local Capture *** Anthony Lynn
INDIANAPOLIS, IN - FEBRUARY 25: Head coach Anthony Lynn of the Los Angeles Chargers speaks to the media at the Indiana Convention Center on February 25, 2020 in Indianapolis, Indiana. (Photo by Michael Hickey/Getty Images) *** Local Capture *** Anthony Lynn
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INDIANAPOLIS, IN – FEBRUARY 26: Austin Jackson #OL25 of the USC Trojans speaks to the media at the Indiana Convention Center on February 26, 2020, in Indianapolis, Indiana. (Photo by Michael Hickey/Getty Images)
INDIANAPOLIS, IN – FEBRUARY 26: Austin Jackson #OL25 of the USC Trojans speaks to the media at the Indiana Convention Center on February 26, 2020, in Indianapolis, Indiana. (Photo by Michael Hickey/Getty Images)

Meetings: Matter but not necessary

One idea circulated by many is that NFL teams tend to meet with prospects that they are interested in, meaning that they are more likely to draft those that they meet with.

Based on the Chargers’ 2019 draft, this certainly seems to be true. Out of seven picks, three met with the team before the draft (Nasir Adderley, Trey Pipkins, and Easton Stick).

However, 2018 tells a far different story. While the team met with many players at positions of need that were frequently mocked to the Chargers (including Tyrell Crosby, Deadrin Senat, and more), they did not draft a single player that they had an exclusive meeting with.

So, meetings appear to matter, but they are certainly far from a prerequisite for drafting a player.

Other drills: Only matter if performance is exceptionally poor

While some trends are revealed by sorting through combine numbers, the general finding is somewhat underwhelming – as long as the prospect does not perform exceptionally poorly, his combine results do not seem to matter much.

Most of the players that the Chargers have drafted over the past two years can be best defined as having “average” combine performances.

While this finding is unexceptional, it is important in that it shows the Chargers scouts’ primary way of finding players to draft must be through film.

The film remains the best way that potential and ability to perform can be measured, although it is hard for non-professionals to always spot necessary traits, especially when a player may be surrounded by an exceptionally poor or brilliant supporting cast.

Related Story. Justin Herbert passes combine with flying colors

Yet, this is the job of scouts. While some trends from past combines and drafts show clues as to who the chargers may draft this spring, the film is where the real information lies.

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