Men lie…Women lie…Numbers lie?!?!?
In recent years the combine warriors have ruled the 1st few rounds of the NFL Draft. There was talk last year about Crabtree falling because he couldn’t run the 4.0, and everyone was unsure about his speed. Cue Heyward-Bey and his top 40 speed and top 7 paycheck. In 2008 Vernon Gholston was a freak of nature at the combine, and watched him stock soar even though his passion was highly in question.
This year has been a refreshing draft for true football fans. On-field production and gametape has attributed to more peoples names being called, than those who simply showed up and outperformed at the combine. A huge example of this is Bruce Campbell, the tackle from Maryland. He really showed his athleticism at the combine and was instantly thought to be a first round lock. Campbell’s game film, however, showed a completely different player. With his physical make-up, he should have dominated his way through the ACC, yet he is still available after 3 rounds.
Demaryius Thomas was unable to perform most events at the combine and yet his game tape still showed enough for him to be taken as the 1st WR taken in the 1st round. Although there are exceptions with highly productive players slipping down in the draft, they have been replaced by other productive players, instead of with optimistic potential. Most of the productive players that slipped down the draft board were due to character issues, team need, and/or injury concerns.
I, as a fan of the NFL, am happy to see this new trend of Production = Reward. The hit or miss aspect of all these Combine Champions has left teams too scarred to take any more bruises. Mark my words in that you will see the largest production for their teams, from the highest number of draft choices in the first 3 rounds, in the first 2 years.