Is there one NFL Scouting Combine drill that stands out more than any other when it comes to evaluating talent?
The 40-yard dash for skill players and the bench press for linemen. Forty-yard times are the combine’s most-discussed measurement for running backs, defensive backs, and particularly wide receivers. The difference between a 4.40 and a 4.50 can make a 20 or 30-slot difference in where a wideout is selected. NFL teams crave speed. A prospect who has blazing speed is going to be attractive to any team. One who post a disappointing time in the 40 is going to be saddled with a red flag heading into the draft. Linemen are scrutinized on how many times they can bench press 225 pounds. An impressive feat of strength will enhance a prospect’s prospects. But an unexpected display of weakness can drop him on many teams’ draft boards.
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What types of questions are typically asked during the Scouting Combine interview? Who conducts the interviews?
The interviews are generally conducted by several members of a team, including the general manager, head coach, personnel or scouting director, coordinator, and position coach. Any or all of them can attend. The questions cover a wide area of territory – preparation, attitude, confidence, leadership, injuries, on-the-field responsibilities, off-the-field issues, game situations, NFL players he admires, academics, family, his goals and hopes. Then there are the position-specific questions. A quarterback might be given a crash course in a team's offense and the get asked to repeat what he was just taught. A wide receiver might be queried about why he had a few too many drops, a linebacker or defensive back about tackling issues. The objective is to learn as much about each player in the allotted time.