Path To The Draft

What to watch for at the 2019 NFL Combine

The NFL Combine begins in earnest on Wednesday in Indianapolis, with the staffs of every NFL team descending on the capital of the Hoosier State. Prior to the evaluation of over 300 draft eligible players, there are meetings of the competition committee, club and league public relations departments, medical staffs, football information folks, coaches, evaluators and everything else imaginable before the college prospects set foot inside Lucas Oil Stadium. Here’s a quick guide to get you ready for the combine.

What’s At Stake: With compensatory picks being released last week, here is the full gamut of the Giants’ slots in the 2019 NFL Draft:

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What’s Happening When?: Head Coaches and General Managers will be speaking to the media throughout the week. On Wednesday, the lineup includes Pat Shurmur (10 a.m.) and Dave Gettleman (11:45 a.m.). The draft prospects will be made available to the media on the following days:

Thursday: running backs, offensive linemen, select quarterbacks
Friday: quarterbacks, wide receivers, tight ends, kickers, punters
Saturday: defensive linemen and linebackers
Sunday: defensive backs

This is the positional workout schedule:

Friday: kickers, punters, offensive line
Saturday: quarterbacks, wide receivers, tight ends
Sunday: defensive line, linebackers
Monday: defensive backs

The Main Event: When you speak to NFL evaluators, whether scouts or general managers, they all say the two most important things that happen at the combine are the medical examinations and the player interviews. These are also the two things media has no access to and aren’t televised. The interviews give teams a chance to get to know what makes these players tick, get clarity on anything on a player’s background, and to get them in front of a board to show off their football intelligence.

The medical exams provide insight into potential pre-existing conditions. A bad medical report could take a player off a team’s draft board completely or drop them several rounds. Measurements take place at the combine as well, giving teams an idea of the size and type of player they might be drafting. Getting a clear view of a player’s medical condition is essential in completing a proper evaluation.

The Show: The drills that take place on the field at Lucas Oil Stadium give teams numbers to gauge strength, speed and quickness. The bench press, 40-yard dash, and 3-cone and shuttle drills let evaluators confirm what they saw on tape during the season. For most teams, results from these events will not drastically move a player up or down a board, but they might make a scout or general manager take a second look at a player’s tape if the numbers don’t match what showed up during the season.

Things To Watch:

40-Yard Dash: There might not be a non-quarterback skill position player picked in the top ten or even top fifteen of this draft, but that doesn’t mean everyone isn’t looking forward to seeing a bunch of elite athletes show off their speed. Slow times for running backs, wide receivers, tight ends and defensive backs can throw up some red flags for teams. Elite athleticism cannot be taught. Many think Andy Isabella from the University of Massachusetts might post the fastest 40 time.

3-Cone Drill: A drill that measures quickness and start-and-stop ability, the 3-cone drill has proven to be a good predictor for success at the defensive end position. Seeing the times posted by the likes of Nick Bosa, Josh Allen, Clelin Ferrell, Jachai Polite, Montez Sweat and Brian Burns should be fun.

Measurements: When you look at the measurements a few things are very important. Arm length for offensive and defensive linemen, especially tackles, is essential. Hand size for quarterbacks is something people keep an eye on, and everyone will be watching to see Kyler Murray’s height and weight.

Bench Press: This event is very important for interior offensive and defensive linemen who have to wrestle with one another in the trenches. Quinnen Williams, the consensus top interior defensive lineman, will be fun to watch here. Last year, Will Hernandez dominated the bench press with 37 repetitions of 225 pounds.

Quarterback Drills: Media reports indicate that Dwayne Haskins will throw at the combine, but there is still no word as to whether Kyler Murray will do the same. There will also be opportunities for potential day one and two quarterbacks like Drew Lock, Daniel Jones and Will Grier to turn some heads.

Coverage: Combine coverage on Giants.com and the Giants App will be extensive.

Big Blue Kickoff Live with John Schmeelk and Paul Dottino has three two-hour live programs.

Wednesday: 1-3 p.m.
Thursday: 12-2 p.m.
Friday: 12– 2 p.m.

There will be additional interviews with Giants front office personnel, written stories every day, and a look behind the scenes at what happens in Indianapolis.

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