2009 NFL Scouting Combine
By: Russ Bliss

First, be sure to register and become a member of our community so you can use our free fantasy football software!

So now that the NFL season is coming to an end it means it we turn our attention to the next major event: the 2009 NFL Scouting Combine. The Combine is an NFL sponsored event that will run from February 18th-24th and will feature many of the top seniors from all around the country. The NFL scouting combine gets a lot of media attention as NFL fans are desperate for news regarding their favorite sport. For me, it is the beginning of gauging where the rookies will fall into place on my 2009 fantasy football rankings. But by no means is it the end of that process. There’s only so much you can learn about a player based on how he works out. And in the cases of many of the top players at the skill positions like quarterback, running back, and wide receiver, the workout is limited, if the player participates at all.

Now, I have to admit that I am not an NFL scouting combine junkie. I do not sit there and watch every player at every position going thru every drill. I think it’s interesting to a point, but it gets boring. And it doesn’t help that so many players decide to not participate in many of the drills as they are hoping to have better measurable numbers when they have their individual workouts in March. But there are things you can learn in the combine. You get an independent measurement of a player’s size. If they take part in the running drills, you can see how fast (or slow) a player is in comparison to others from the same position. In passing drills you get a chance to gauge arm strength and accuracy in a domed environment. You can see how wide receivers and tight ends catch the ball and what type of passes they catch, and routes they run, better than others. The NFL Scouting Combine is the beginning of how I judge a rookie’s prospects for the upcoming season and where they can fit not only in the NFL Draft, but also into the 2009 fantasy football rankings so many of us like to create months before we have any actual fantasy football drafts.

Is the NFL Scouting Combine overhyped by the media? Yes. But this is because we, as starving NFL and fantasy football fans, crave any news that will have a potential impact for our favorite NFL team. Are you really going to miss out on a lot if you don’t watch any of the combine? No. The media will keep you in the know. And by the time the 2009 NFL Draft is over the Combine becomes a distant memory of mostly meaningless reports. Sure, I took some choice nuggets from last year’s Combine, like just how incredibly fast running back Chris Johnson (who was drafted by the Tennessee Titans) is. Things like that are good to know, and see happen. But 40 times, how high a player can jump, how many reps at the bench press, etc are only measurable things. They have little to do with whether a player can excel on the football field in games. And that’s what is most important.

That and which team drafts a player.