2013 NFL Draft: NFL Combine Invitees Should Participate In Every Drill

By Ben Grimaldi
Brian Spurlock-USA TODAY Sports

The purpose on the NFL combine is give talent evaluators and scouts an up close and personal look at the players most likely to be drafted in April. It’s at the combine where they can get the best possible gauge of a players skill set and to see how those players would fit on any given team. However, some players have made the entire process much more difficult than it should be.

Players, usually quarterbacks, get invited to the combine, go to Indianapolis and not participate, which is an absolute joke. The NFL should make a rule that if you accept the invitation to the combine; you agree to do all the drills they have. There should be no more of this bush league practice of accepting of an invite and not participating. There are too many other players who would love the opportunity to be able to showcase their skill and aren’t afraid to show it off at the combine and these players are taking that spot away from them.

The premise doesn’t get any simpler; if you show up at the combine, you participate. No more sitting out of the throwing portion of the combine but doing the high-jump. Every player should be required to do every event asked by the NFL and the combine, which means running backs must do the 40-yard dash, quarterbacks must throw and lineman must participate in the bench press. There’s a reason these players are at the combine, to get a job and to be evaluated on their skills and it makes a mockery of the process when players don’t participate.

Players refusing to take part in the entire process are not giving teams the best possible chance to evaluate them and it’s wrong. Think of it in terms of the life of an average person; imagine someone going into a job interview and telling the company that wants to hire them that you’re not going to answer a question during the interview. Do you think anyone would hire a person who didn’t give their best effort during their interview?

No wonder the draft is such a crap shoot when there are players who don’t want to give it their all. Spare the talk about player doing all the drills at a Pro Day because that’s an extremely controlled environment where the player has every advantage to shine. It’s like using a book while taking a test, it doesn’t give the best indicator of what a player can do. The combine makes the process just as easy, everyone knows the drills they’re going to be asked to do and they can prepare for them all leading up to the combine so I just don’t understand the players who don’t want to do all the drills.

Where’s the competitiveness for these athletes, where’s the will to compete? They want to play at the highest level in the game of football, but they want to do it on their own terms when playing on Sunday’s are not like that at all. It’s a tough game, a brutal game and the mental part of football is just as important as the physical part.

The answer to all of this is simple, it’s all about money. Players want to make the best possible impression in order to be drafted as high as possible, so they make more money. In turn, so do the agents, who are a big part of this entire process.

The bottom line is the NFL, who love their rules and live to enforce them, should make it their policy that if you accept an invitation to the draft, you are accepting to participate in all the drills, barring an injury. The charade of going to the combine and not taking part of every drill should end.

you can chat with or follow Ben on twitter @BenGrimaldi

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