Don’t be overly concerned with NFL Combine numbers

This week top prospects will converge on Indianapolis for the NFL Combine.  While it’s entertaining, what’s learned there can be misleading.

For years, teams have often placed too much emphasis on the information that is collected at the NFL Combine each February. Does size matter? What about speed? You shouldn’t put much into it.

Presumptive top pick QB Joe Burrow registered a ‘hand size’ of 9″.  Does that make him a worse player/prospect because no quarterback in the last 20 years has succeeded with hands that size?  Should Jordan Love be considered a higher pick because his hands came in at 10 1/2 inches?

If speed was the indication of a stud player, LB Zach Thomas’ 4.85 40-yard dash would have meant he didn’t make the 53-man roster.  Instead, Thomas played 13 years and racked up 1384 tackles and 8 Pro Bowls.  Remember that if a player like LB Joe Bachie runs a poor time at this week’s combine.

When viewing the results of this week’s combine, remember the following guidelines:

If a quarterback did a good job of protecting the ball in college, his hand size is pretty much irrelevant.

More attention should be paid to a running back’s shuttle times than his ’40 time’ because those players find the holes.

This week will probably be the only time that an offensive lineman will be asked to run 40 yards in his entire career.

When it comes to wide receivers and tight ends, if they can’t catch at the combine (against ‘air) then don’t expect them to be a talented receiver in the league when players are actually making pressure catches.

For those people looking at pass rushers, the “hoop drill” is a good indication of a defensive ends’ ability to ‘flatten’ around the edge and get to the quarterback.

Finally, it’s great if a defensive back or linebacker catches a lot of balls in their drills but it doesn’t mean a whole lot if they have a few drops.  After all, if they could catch, they would be playing offense.  (jk)

Enjoy the combine; it should be a lot of fun.  However, if you hear about a player shooting up the draft boards because of their performance this week I would be leery of the Dolphins drafting him.  If he didn’t stand out in college that should say more about the player than his size or speed numbers.

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