The NFL Combine event is a great opportunity for draft prospects to increase their draft stock, but it can also harm it. Our SB Nation Reacts survey this week asked whether fans would prefer drafting a player with great game tape or a great combine performance and the response was overwhelmingly in favor of the game tape.
I’m definitely with the 82% here. I get red flags in my head any time a player flies up the draft board based on their combine results. Normally, I’d like to see a player who has both great game tape and that gets validated by also having great combine results.
The draft is a crapshoot, though, so I am sure it can work out in any number of ways. In fact, we’re seeing a similar effect for the Denver Broncos needs at quarterback in the combine.
One of the other questions involved two of the top quarterback prospects: Malik Willis and Kenny Pickett. I entered the combine much higher on Willis than Pickett and, despite my comments about solid combine performances changing draft stock, I think Willis did a lot more to help himself than Pickett did.
The caveat about combine results is that I like to see a player’s rise from those results correlate to other factors. For Willis, he also had an outstanding Senior Bowl and everyone came away impressed there as well. That makes me feel like he might be worth looking at if George Paton decides to go with a rookie quarterback pick.
What do you think of the NFL Combine and how important is it really?