Does NFL Combine process need change? | Bonehead Picks

The NFL needs to eliminate some traditional parts of the NFL Draft process

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The 2018 NFL Combine has concluded. A lot of attention was given to the thrilling personal performances of former Penn State running back Saquon Barkley and former UCF linebacker Shaquem Griffin. There will now be attention focused on the numerous Pro Days that will be happening across college campuses where many NFL hopefuls try to improve their NFL Draft stock in hopes of being drafted as high as possible during the 2018 NFL Draft on April 26. While events like the Senior Bowl and the NFL Combine have been staples of the NFL Draft process for decades, there are parts of the NFL Draft process that need to be eliminated for important reasons.

The NFL Combine often highlights the physical skills of NFL prospects through events like the 40 yard dash, the bench press, and the three cone drill. There are arguments for and against how these events have anything to do with how a NFL prospect will be able to adjust to playing in the NFL but those events are just a small part of the NFL Combine. NFL prospects get measured, weighed, and poked and prodded by NFL team doctors and they also take the infamous Wonderlic test.

The Wonderlic test is a 50 question exam administered by the NFL to the top NFL Draft prospects at the annual NFL Scouting Combine to determine an individual’s problem solving and critical thinking skills. It is a similar type of standardized test that can draw some parallels to the ACT Test that high school students take. Unfortunately, while the results of the Wonderlic are supposed to be confidential, every year scores get leaked out in which some athletes are praised for their high score and shamed for their low score. It would behoove the NFL to get rid of the Wonderlic test because there are too many pieces of evidence that the scores do not correlate to NFL success and there is no need to have future NFL players shamed for a test that has nothing do with their ability on a football field.

One of the more challenging parts of the NFL Draft process for NFL prospects is the various questions that they must face from NFL teams. Often, NFL teams will send scouts, general managers, and other front office executives to interview NFL prospects to get a sense of the person that they are investing large sums of money into. It is a difficult endeavor but it is becoming clear that NFL teams are abusing the interview process with ridiculous questions to future NFL players.

Former LSU running back Derrius Guice mentioned that one team asked him if he likes men and another asked him if his mother is a prostitute. These questions are flawed for multiple reasons as an athlete’s sexual orientation is irrelevant to their ability to produce on the playing field and their mother’s personal life shouldn’t be a deciding factor in evaluating a prospect either. The questions might have been for shock value in order to get a reaction from the prospect but there are other ways to test the temperament of a NFL prospect. The NFL and the NFL Players Association must eliminate questions of a player’s sexual orientation or questions that would be considered defamatory like asking whether a person’s mother is a prostitute during the NFL Draft process.


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