*An inside look at what Combine Week is like for the draft prospects: *
Picture your first job interview.
You put on your best suit, go meet the potential employer, answer a few questions about yourself and what you bring to the table, maybe take a tour of where you'll hopefully be working someday, shake hands, go home, and wait anxiously for a call back.
Now picture the NFL Scouting Combine.
The only similarity is the part about waiting anxiously. But in this case, you're sweating out a phone call from one of 32 NFL team facilities across the country – and possibly a trip onstage for a photo op with the commissioner if you're drafted high enough -- saying that you and your family could be set for generations.
That's what is taking place in Indianapolis right now.
More than 300 of the best college players are descending upon Lucas Oil Stadium and the adjacent convention center for a week-long job interview that goes far beyond the 40-yard dash. Offensive linemen, running backs and specialists are already here. Quarterbacks, wide receivers and tight ends arrive today. Defensive linemen and linebackers come tomorrow, and defensive backs anchor the weekend.
Think you have what it takes?
Pick a position for yourself and imagine going through this gauntlet. Keep in mind you are in your early 20's and unemployed in the first few months of your post-college life. Additionally, if you are from Clemson or Alabama, who played in College Football Playoff National Championship, you have had 49 days to prepare.
• Travel to Indianapolis
• Hospital Pre-Exam
• Interviews with NFL clubs
• Arm length
• Hand size
• Medical Examinations
• More interviews with NFL clubs
• Psychological Testing
• NFLPA Meeting
• Press conference with the media
• Bench Press
• Even more interviews with NFL clubs
• On-Field Workout
• 40-yard dash
• Vertical jump
• Broad jump
• 3 cone drill
• 20-yard shuttle
• 60-yard shuttle
• Departure from Indianapolis
Now picture doing the same thing next month at your school's pro day, then waiting for the actual draft at the end of April, being thrown into rookie minicamp the following week, hopping into the offseason workout program with grizzled veterans, trying to make a name for yourself in training camp, and playing a grueling 16-game schedule for the first time in your football career.
So when you hear about the "rookie wall" sometime in October, you now know why. They have been on the go since landing this week in Indy.