The Value of the Scouting Combine

The NFL’s Scouting Combine starts next week. For those of us in dynasty leagues, the Combine is a big deal. Here is why.

When you draft rookies, how do you separate kids from universities like Alabama and Liberty? Obviously, their competition was vastly different, as well as the supporting casts around them.

This is where the Scouting Combine levels the playing field. By providing objective physical tests, we get numbers we can use to look at players without the clutter of trying to figure out if their performance against X school was a factor of the opposing defense being weak, or their offensive line being awesome, or any of the hundreds of factors that go into a game of football.

That said, I won’t tell you there is one objective statistic to judge any particular position, as several of them apply to each. There are even cases where a prospect refuses to perform a specific test that might hinder their draft stock. Also, just because somebody has a great 40 time doesn’t mean they are the bomb (although sometimes they are). You need to judge the numbers within the context of the entire player’s history.

Scouting is an art, not a science, although it has elements of science to it. The only certainty I have found is a player with reasonable or even good stats who has a good work ethic, tends to do better in the NFL. But the good work ethic without the basic talent can be as risky as the talent without the work ethic.

The best advice I can give is to keep looking at players and Combine results until you figure out the code.

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