By ROSS CAPUANA
The NFL combine, a test on college athletes’ ability to run, jump, catch, throw and other intangibles of the NFL game, kicked off last week. The issue that comes into play with the combine is, do these running drills and non-contact drills really determine how good a player you will be in the next level. A few students and athletes here at Ramapo College just do not think so.
The NFL combine took place in late February in Indianapolis, Indiana. College players get the opportunity to make an impression and showcase their talents in front of NFL scouts, General Managers, coaches, and professional player evaluators.
There are many people including the higher ups listed above that think 40 yard dash times and mental tests are some of the most important things for a player before entering the next level, but then there are many people also including some higher ups that do not think any of these non-contact drills mean anything and that it is really nothing but statistics on a piece of paper. But there are also many people, including the higher ups listed above, think 40 yard dash times and mental tests are some of the most important things for a player before entering the next level.
Ackeme Brown, 20, track athlete at Ramapo College had an interesting take on the NFL combine. He says of course speed matters when it comes to football, but it does not exactly show what you would look like or how you would perform on the field.
“I played football in high school as a running back, and I’m currently a sprinter here at Ramapo College so I know more or less what these 40 yard dashes are like,” Brown said. “Many football players were once track athletes so because they are fast this should not sway your decision. I would say I am pretty fast, I also think I can jump pretty high, but I am not a good football player. If I was in the combine I would do pretty well when it comes to speed drills, but if you put me in pads against other college athletes and I wouldn’t have a shot. These numbers to me are exactly that, just number.”
Bad Combine, Great Career
The NFL combine did not invite a few of today’s NFL stars, like Arian Foster running back for the Houston Texans, Antonio Gates tight end for the San Diego Chargers, Wes Welker wide receiver for the New England Patriots, Victor Cruz wide receiver and Osi Umenyiora defensive end both of the New York Giants. Now these players are Pro-Bowl players and some of the best in the game at their respectable positions. Again, showing that NFL combine may not be as important as people say.
“The number of athletes per position varies from year-to-year depending on the available talent. However, we are able to accommodate and process up to 335 total athletes each year.” (NFLCombine.net)
What is next for the NFL combine? The combine certainly will not be going away anytime soon. These drills are important because the drills really show your talent when it comes to speed times, and mental questions asked by NFL coaches and general managers but changes should be made.
Bryan Adams, 20, of Ramapo College and baseball player thinks there is a simple solution.
“Although I am a baseball player, I am an avid sports fan and huge football fan and follower of the NFL combine,” Adams said. “For baseball you can measure things easier by simply hitting a ball and showing your fielding attributes but of course with many other things that do matter, but how about you simply put these college athletes on the field? Why not have these players put on pads, and go full contract with maybe even some professional level players and see where they stand after that. Let the fans see that, and from that maybe you can measure how good a player is, or how good they will be once they step on a professional field.”