I have a bone to pick with the NFL Scouting Combine.
What a seemingly useless exercise. Sure, it’s fun to see guys in shorts run the 3-cone drill, compete in the bench press and exhibit their hops. But does any of this really translate to football?
Who can forget that one Super Bowl that hinged on how quickly a linebacker could run the short shuttle? The Steelers would have two more titles if Rashard Mendenhall‘s vertical was a little better, or if James Harrison was faster in the 3-cone drill.
With that in mind, how about some combine drills that would really translate to the NFL game we have come to know and love? Presenting the top six combine drills we would like to see:
6. Gatorade dump
The bench press is nice, but today’s players need to show the muscle memory to properly lift a Gatorade bucket and dump it over their coach’s head. Too many times you see players fail to get the lift needed to properly execute this move. What ends up happening is the coach’s backside gets drenched instead of a full soaking. So, to avoid this, have prospects compete to see who can execute the most Gatorade dumps in two minutes.
Of course, this skill might not be important to some teams like the Browns or Bills.
5. Chest-bumping/towel wave
Fringe NFL prospects often save their careers because of their performance on special teams. But a player could also make a long-term impact chest-bumping a star player as he’s coming off the field. You have to make sure a player could actually get the height required to make this move. Look at the Vikings’ mascot, Ragnar, in this video (about the minute mark) … this is why he never made it to the NFL.
Also, players who wave towels have a valuable impact on NFL teams, too. Do you think it was Aaron Rodgers‘ rocket arm that won Super Bowl XLV? Nah, it was the guys who waved towels on the bench to fire up the crowd. Have your would-be NFL stars wave a towel for five minutes to see who has the stamina to take it to the next level.
4. Baseball cap wearing
The majority of these quarterbacks going through the combine are not going to be NFL starters. Well, unless they go to the Cardinals or Panthers, because it seems every quarterback on those rosters got a chance last year. But you want to make sure your quarterback knows how to wear that baseball cap. Throw your quarterback prospect a cap and see how he wears it. Does he go for the classic look? Or does he go with the lame backwards cap deal? The Panthers could have saved themselves a lot of heartache if they had seen this.
3. End-zone celebration
You don’t think having the proper end-zone celebration is important? Then you have obviously never seen this video. You can actually make this a very noteworthy combine drill on NFL Network by having Paula Abdul and Hugh Jackman judge the participants. I smell ratings gold.
You can’t be an NFL player without a Twitter account. But can your prospect take it to the next level? Hand a player a computer and a new Twitter account and time how fast it will take him to alienate his teammates and also tumble down draft boards. Maybe the first question could be, how do you feel about team photos?
1. Pick up a Kardashian
Well it seems like any professional athlete can land a Kardashian. An NBA champion ends up with Khloe. An NFL champion takes Kim. Does your prospect have what it takes to make it?