As the Underwear Olympics get under way, you will start to see more and more draft coverage about future prospects and Dallas Cowboys. The question that will arise is what have they produced so far and what could they bring to the team. Some do not see the point in this Combine. It seems that production is thrown out the window and new grades are made up of these players based on numbers given and provided in these workouts. While there is some truth to that, I think that many miss the true value in the Combine.
It is a showcase of athleticism showing what a player could do in various drills. You look at the footwork and mobility in a player. You also get a chance to see in person a competitive nature that you can not always see on tape. Do they have that desire to learn and improve at each opportunity? You are not at their practices, so how do they accept criticsm and coaching?
And then perhaps one of the most underated aspect of the combine is their mental performance. You get a chance to show Owners, GMS, and Coaches the person that you are and what you stand for. The interviewing process tells teams alot about you and if you are the “Right Kind of Guy” for their team and if you fit in with what they are trying to do. The Wonderlic test is also given to these athletes and while it is not a football test, it tells if an athlete is capable of reading comprehnsion and processing information. A fresh reminder of this is in the case of Morris Claibounne. He didn’t take this seriously at all. Was it becasue he knew he wasn’t going to perform highly on it or not, is for debate. We learned that he knew football and did not have problems understanding plays and offensive schemes. This year they have added an aptitude test that tests not what you have learned but more about how you learn. This test measures your decision making skills and what type of learner you are.
These are just some of the things that you look for in these combines. Recently this team moved from a 3-4 Defense to a 4-3 Defense. The combine is a nice place to work out Defenders to see what scheme thaey can fit in. You look at down lineman and see if they can stand up. With Wide Receivers you want to see how they catch the ball. Do they look the ball in and catch with their fingers, clasping it in? Or do they tend to catch with their body? Every pass will not be on target so how will they adjust to new quarterbacks? Again, you are looking at how they compete and the way they go about their business. Are they rounding the corners? How low do they get? Are they getting better each drill? What conditioin are they in? When you are putting your board together and find that two players are closely ranked, it is some of these combine results that might provide an edge. Players are also measured and weighed. Some teams will not draft a player that does not fit the mold unless they give them tremendous reason. There are some positions where size matters more than others. And this is probably another reason why the combine is a good thing. Those undersized guys or players from small school get a chance to be on the same field with all their peers and other prospects and gets a share of the stage. What they do with it can mean alot for their future.
There is plenty of things to look for in these combines to add to your list of prospects and what they can do. I am sure that you have your favorites that you will be looking for. Enjoy this time for what it is. For more Dallas Cowboy related news and discussion go to Cowboys-forum.com.