The League

Jim McCormick
Blitz Magazine Publisher

Jim McCormick

The editor and publisher of Blitz Magazine

Combine Blurs Reality

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The NFL Draft has created a language of it's own over the years. We've become casually familiar with 40 times, broad jumps and Wonderlic results. The "workout warrior" is another concept born of the late April summit. These "warriors" are players whose legendary Combine showings saw them dart up draft boards despite decidedly unspectacular college careers.

Matt Jones, Jonathan Sullivan, Troy Williamson and Vernon Davis are prominent recent examples. At the time, most pundits were smitten with their unreal measurables, but their utter lack of production since shaking the commissioner's hand has left them deemed "busts."

But who is to blame for these glaring failures? The combine itself is intended to vet the incoming class of college talents and create an accurate marketplace. But in some cases it has seen players' stock become overinflated thanks to extraordinary performances. A few hundredths of a second has literally made some young men millions.

These "busts" are the result of front offices that allowed incredible physical gifts to blur the reality of on-field performance. GMs get sold on absurdly fast 40s and freakish verticals believing that their coaching staff can develop these players and extract their raw skills to translate to the field in ways their college mentors couldn't. The best approach, of course, is tempering the results of these controlled drills while considering what the player can actually accomplish with pads and players on the field.

The combine itself is not overrated, but it does create overrated players.

By Jim McCormick  |  February 20, 2009; 3:03 PM ET  | Category:  Draft , NFL Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   Del.icio.us   StumbleUpon   Technorati  
Previous: February 20th Winner: GEORGE43 | Next: Jonesing for a GM

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