ESPN INSIDER: "Combine Stars" Rarely Work Out

Doug Farrar takes a look at the biggest "Workout Warriors" of the last few NFL scouting combines, players who didn't quite pan out after their draft stock skyrocketed in Indianapolis.

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13 comments, Last at 21 Feb 2009, 10:45pm

2 Re: ESPN INSIDER: "Combine Stars" Rarely Work Out

Tye Law, anyone? As I recall, he may have been the fastest player in the draft a few years ago, and was taken in the first 10 picks (or so) by the Rams. As far as I can tell, he's been a total bust.

6 Re: ESPN INSIDER: "Combine Stars" Rarely Work Out

It doesn't really say much to just point to a handful of guys that had great combine numbers and lackluster NFL careers. There are plenty of other guys that had great combine numbers and success in the NFL (e.g. Chris Johnson, Calvin Johnson, Patrick Willis, Mario Williams, Dwight Freeney). Granted, those guys also had great college production, but then so did Vernon Davis, who makes your list.

It would be more useful to actually look at past combine numbers and see if they have any predictive value as far as NFL performance.

A related project I started working on a while ago was analyzing the various different drills at the combine using factor analysis to see if it's possible to tease apart the things they're supposed to measure (e.g. shuttle drills are affected by both speed and ability to change direction). Unfortunately, my computer died and I haven't gotten a new copy of the statistical analysis software I was using, so that's on hold for the moment

7 Re: ESPN INSIDER: "Combine Stars" Rarely Work Out

Ronnie Brown dominated at the combine, did not have a ton of college production, and is a stud NFL player despite his recent knee injury. This article seems like it's trying too hard to be counterintuitive.

9 Re: ESPN INSIDER: "Combine Stars" Rarely Work Out

kevin jones was a good rb who had a lot of injuries that set him back. i'm not sure that players with promising young careers derailed by injury belong on that list.

10 Re: ESPN INSIDER: "Combine Stars" Rarely Work Out

The problem with these articles is that it overlooks all the cases where the Combine did expose a potential find that had been underutilized in college.

Of course, mistakes are made. The Henry pick was particularly bad.

12 Re: ESPN INSIDER: "Combine Stars" Rarely Work Out

I'm not Insider-able but this is more a general question, Do guys really jump up the board tons because of an amazing combine? Like a guy like Gholston who I assume is on the list but he was very highly regarded at the time before the combine and his combine basically proved he was the freak athlete he was. I'm just curious if NFL scouts/directors really need the numbers as more than some comfirmation, Chris Johnson for example it's quite obvious to see is really fast.