The NFL Scouting Combine begins today in Indianapolis. This is big, big, big for all the teams, including the Chiefs. While the fans will pay attention to a lot of the numbers like 40 times and bench press reps, the smart folks will be keeping their ears open about how players do in interviews.
Chiefs’ GM Scott Pioli has often mentioned that he thinks it is important to not get too tied up in the numbers. The interviews are important because generally, the teams already have a pretty good idea of what these players can do. They’ve had scouts watching them for a couple of years and generally, one workout isn’t going to dramatically change the team’s opinion of a guy. It may change their opinion of his draft stock but not necessarily what he can do on the field.
A perfect example is Chiefs LB Justin Houston. Houston had end of the first round, early second round talent but slid to the third round because he failed a drug test at the combine. The Chiefs met with Houston and decided that he was a good kid and that he wasn’t likely to be a problem child. While they were confident enough to draft Houston, they were also smart enough to know that the failed drug test hurt his stock. That meant they could adjust their expectations of where they could get him int he draft. The Chiefs were able to trade back in the first round of the draft last year and pick up an extra pick in the third round. They used the first to snag Houston and the second to grab Allen Baiely.
Had Houston not impressed the Chiefs in his interviews, however, he may be playing somewhere else.
Most of the players drafted will be at the combine so this is a big week for everyone involved. Here is today’s schedule:
The special teamers, offensive linemen and tight ends arrived yesterday. Today, the quarterbacks, receivers and running backs will arrive. The players will be getting poked and prodded for the first couple of days and will get into serious drills on Saturday. You can watch the combine live on NFL Network (if you have it). You can count on AA to be here providing coverage and news throughout the weekend (if our server allows it).
Which players are you most excited to watch work out?