The NFL combine is upon us, where players will be prodded and poked, measured, timed, and interviewed. Millions will be made this weekend, and millions will be lost!
It’s amazing the effect that the combine has on where players end up being drafted. Workout warriors move up, while many productive players move down to to a “slow” 40 time or not bench pressing 225 pounds enough times.
Ray Lewis was too short, too slow, too small to be a dominant middle linebacker in the NFL. Had there been a measurement for his heart, he would have been a consensus #1 draft pick when he came out, no questions asked!
It’s amazing to me how a player’s productivity is pushed aside, and he is bypassed on the draft boards by players who’s body of work, does not merit – and is not commensurate – with their draft position.
Ray Rice was a hyper productive running back at Rutgers. His body of work for the 3 years he was at Rutgers was exceptional. I was elated when the Ravens drafted him, as I suspected that he could turn out to be a special running back. My only fear was that he had too many carries during his collegiate career, and had absorbed a lot of punishment. Ray was too short, and he didn’t have breakaway speed, and that is the reason why he slid deep down into the second round, where the Ravens pounced on him.
The Ravens didn’t need a running back at the time, and many people questioned the pick. But he was such a high value pick at the slot he was taken, that the Ravens absolutely made the right move in adding him to their roster.
I like to set my draft board before the combine, this way I don’t fall in love with the proverbial pretty girl, and forget the one that I took to the dance. We’ve all seen these combine superstars, that have blazing speed, super human strength, and can throw a football through the goal posts from midfield. They all look great in shorts and t-shirts. However, that always doesn’t translate to success on the field at the professional level. Sometimes you get the prettiest duck, that looks big and strong, that quacks like a duck should, but you put him in the water – and he can’t swim! I’d take the ugly duckling that can swim like a fish over the pretty one that sinks to the bottom, any day of the week!