Some will dismiss the whole event, call it the underwear Olympics and say that teams already have their draft boards set. Others will argue that the numbers they see every February in Indianapolis help confirm what they see on tape and draft with patterns according to those speed and agility drills.
Either way you see the event, you can’t argue that interviews and medicals are an important part of the draft process. The combine has also been known to make or break some players. Last year, Arizona State linebacker Vontaze Burfict came to Lucas Oil Stadium out of shape and interviewed poorly. He didn’t hear his name called during the seven rounds of the 2012 NFL Draft.
Georgia Tech wide receiver Stephen Hill, on the other hand, came to Indianapolis and wowed NFL teams with a 4.36 40-yard dash. Despite having little experience in running pro-style routes, Hill was drafted in the second round based on speed, size and upside alone.
Last year we also saw Boston College linebacker Luke Kuechly surprise with a 4.58 speed and impressive agility figures. He was rewarded with a Top 10 pick.
This year will be no different and there are plenty of prospects who will be coming to Indianapolis with something to prove. Manti Te’o must prove in interviews that he had nothing to do with the Lennay Kekua scandal. Georgia linebacker Alec Ogletree will have to show NFL teams that recent DUI arrest was a one-time occurrence and Oregon linebacker Dion Jordan will have to prove he can still move as swiftly after gaining 20 pounds for the NFL.
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