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#pounditThursday, September 29, 2022

Articles tagged: NFL combine

NFL Combine prospects set amazing record for 40 times

Tyquan Thornton 40 yard

The NFL Combine ended Sunday by crowning itself the fastest combine ever among participating draft prospects.

A remarkably fast group of defensive backs turned in a series of impressive 40 times on Sunday to cap off the weekend event. When it was all over, an incredible 31 draft prospects ran the 40 in less than 4.4 seconds. Not only is that a combine record, but that’s more than twice as high as the previous mark.

With all this in mind, it is no surprise that a new record 40 time was posted earlier in the event. This went beyond just the speediest players, too: while it wasn’t sub-4.4, we even had enormous defensive linemen defying expectations with their times.

Of course, it is fair to question whether some of these times might be inadvertently inflated, as one NFL star has. Whatever the case, the record books will show this to have been the fastest combine ever. Whether that translates into NFL success remains to be seen.

Jordan Davis stuns NFL Combine with incredible 40 time

Jordan Davis after a game

Georgia defensive lineman Jordan Davis may be able to claim the most impressive feat of the NFL Combine in 2022.

Davis, the 6-foot-6, 341-pound star of the Bulldogs defense, wowed scouts and executives on Saturday by posting an official 40 time of 4.78.

That is a solid 40 time in any context, but there is no precedent for a time like that at Davis’ weight. In fact, Davis actually outran Patrick Mahomes’ combine 40 time by two-hundreths of a second. His measurements are also ridiculous across the board by combine standards.

Davis is part of a ridiculous class of defensive players in this year’s draft. Georgia boasts a number of those players, and their school is going to produce a whole lot of picks on the first two days of the draft.

Photo: Sep 18, 2021; Athens, Georgia, USA; Georgia Bulldogs defensive lineman Jordan Davis (99) reacts as he leaves the field after defeating the South Carolina Gamecocks at Sanford Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Dale Zanine-USA TODAY Sports

NFL Scouting Combine could leave Indianapolis for 2023

NFL Scouting combine logo

The 2022 NFL Combine will wind down over the next several days and then decisions about its future will need to be made.

Expectations are that the combine will return to Indianapolis, Indiana in 2023, but that’s not necessarily guaranteed. The NFL’s contract with the city expires after this year and then it’s off to the negotiating table.

Other potential destinations include Dallas (see: Arlington) and Los Angeles, reports Adam Schefter of ESPN.

The combine has been held in Indy dating back to the 1980s because the area is said to be a “central geographical location.” The other proposed areas may be less ideal from a geographical standpoint, but a better option for the league financially.

The NFL Draft was long held at Radio City Music Hall in New York City, but has taken its show on the road. That decision has proven to be a lucrative one for the NFL and the same would likely apply to the combine — especially if it were held in Dallas or Los Angeles.

Tyquan Thornton sets new record 40 time at NFL Combine

Tyquan Thornton 40 yard

The 2022 class of wide receivers is posting some truly impressive 40 times at the NFL Combine. One member of the group even appears to have shattered the all-time record.

Baylor wide receiver Tyquan Thornton posted an unofficial time of 4.21. If verified, that would set a new Combine record ahead of the 4.22 John Ross ran in 2017.

Speed isn’t the only thing necessary to have a good career. After all, Ross turned out to be something of a draft bust despite his record 40 time. That said, it’s a great way to get noticed, and Thornton, a former track athlete, is certainly helping his case with that kind of mark.

Thornton caught 62 passes for 948 yards and ten touchdowns in his final season at Baylor. He was viewed as a consensus day three draft pick coming into the combine.

NFL makes significant change to Combine rules

Roger Goodell at a press conference

The NFL has backed down on restrictions around the annual scouting combine after being faced with a reported revolt from prospects and agents.

On Monday, the league sent out a memo to potential combine participants notifying them that restrictions would be relaxed for next month’s showcase. That means players will not be expected to remain in a bubble and are free to exit the combine itself if they wish to do so.

The original plan outlined by the league was to implement a bubble environment for this year’s combine in which prospects would not be permitted to leave the premises of the event. That went over badly, and the NFL actually faced a boycott from top prospects and their agents if the rules were not changed.

The NFL had little choice but to reassess or risk the combine becoming a total non-event. While many players may still opt against on-field workouts, this certainly increases the likelihood that some will do the usual set of drills.

Photo: Apr 29, 2021; Cleveland, Ohio, USA; NFL commissioner Roger Goodell announces the final pick of the 2021 NFL Draft for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers at First Energy Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

Report: NFL Combine facing boycott due to bubble restrictions

Roger Goodell at a press conference

The NFL Combine is facing a backlash from agents over restrictions placed upon players and trainers at next month’s event.

A number of agents are reportedly organizing a boycott of testing and on-field workouts at the combine over event restrictions, according to Ian Rapoport of NFL Network. The agents will drop the boycott if restrictions are eased.

The NFL sent out a memo outlining combine guidelines on Saturday. Draft prospects are expected to be restricted to combine venues during their entire time in Indianapolis, and are restricted to one guest who will provide medical support. That individual, as well as anyone else who comes in contact with players, must be fully vaccinated. Anyone who violates the established protocols risks being sent home from the combine.

The NFL Combine is typically a major event on the offseason calendar. Those who participate in on-field workouts can sometimes do wonders for their draft stock or create significant buzz around themselves. The combine had become such a big event that TV coverage was actually starting to interfere with the workouts, at least in the minds of some.

As it stands, most top prospects would show up to the combine for a medical evaluation and nothing else. They would still have the opportunity to do drills and workouts, but they would likely do it at their school’s pro day instead.

Photo: Apr 29, 2021; Cleveland, Ohio, USA; NFL commissioner Roger Goodell announces the final pick of the 2021 NFL Draft for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers at First Energy Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

Could NFL Combine move out of Indianapolis?

Roger Goodell

The annual NFL Combine is becoming more and more of an event with each passing year, as the general public’s desire for football content combined with a glimpse at top NFL Draft prospects makes it more attractive for audiences. As a result, the league appears to be looking at a big change in where the event takes place.

As first reported by Mickey Shuey of the Indianapolis Business Journal, the NFL informed all 32 teams Wednesday that it would accept bids from franchises to host the combine starting in 2023. The move indicates that the league could be adopting a similar strategy that it has with the NFL Draft, which is hosted by a different franchise every year.

The NFL Combine’s traditional home is Indianapolis, where it has been held annually since 1987. Chris Gahl, the vice president of Indianapolis tourism agency Visit Indy, said the city plans to launch a “highly competitive, comprehensive bid” for multiple years of the event in order to try to keep the combine.

It will probably be harder to move the combine around than the NFL Draft. Logistics are important for the event, as is easy access to medical facilities for prospects. That said, something like this was inevitable. The event has become more TV-friendly with each passing year, and people want to see how top prospects stack up in terms of measurements. It’s no wonder the NFL sees the opportunity to make more money off it.

Report: NFL designing major changes to Combine for 2021

Roger Goodell

The NFL Combine, as expected, will look much different in 2021 once the league finalizes major adjustments in order to promote health and safety.

According to Albert Breer of SI, the NFL spoke with key officials on Friday to flesh out a possible format for the Combine in 2021. The traditional Combine setup in Indianapolis will not happen, and the league instead expects to fan out across the country in order to ensure teams can get a look at top draft prospects.

Nothing final has been decided. Among the considerations are a regional setup, where hospitals will be used for gathering medical information from players massed for workouts that team physicians can attend. Certain aspects could also be done via Telehealth.

While face-to-face interviews with prospects may not be possible, the NFL is likely to simply replace those with Zoom meetings. In addition, to make up for lost workouts, more formalized pro days are being considered for players to do the typical combine workouts.

One thing is certain: however the event is conducted this year, prospects will still have to deal with awkward interview questions from teams.

Report: Agents, trainers frustrated with NFL Combine schedule

Roger Goodell

The NFL moved many combine activities to primetime for the event’s growing TV audience, but they appear to have angered some of the people involved in the process.

Various reports indicate that many players, trainers, and athletes were negatively impacted by the scheduling. One agent complained to Matt Miller of Bleacher Report about how the TV scheduling has impacted downtime and has led to more injuries for participating players.

Pro Football Network’s Tony Pauline spoke to many at the Combine, and the majority of figures he’d spoken to “detest” the new schedule. Many players experienced excessive waiting for drills. Navy’s Malcolm Perry, who lacks a true position at the NFL level, was to be tested as a wide receiver and a running back, but did not get to test at the latter position as it was close to midnight.

“Not only do they sit around all day, but the food for the players was poor, and it was a poorly run week,” one veteran of 15 Combines told Pauline. “Top agencies are talking about not having their players work out (at the combine) next year.”

It may be that players starting using the answer Chase Young gave when it came to the Combine. The NFL’s desire to play things up for a TV audience is understandable, but the event should benefit athletes first and foremost. It does not sound like that happened in 2020, and changes need to be made for next year.

Florida’s Jachai Polite says teams keep ‘bashing’ him at NFL Combine

It’s that time of year again, folks: prospective NFL players are asked odd and provocative questions by teams during NFL Combine interviews.

Former Florida defensive end Jachai Polite said Saturday he came away from two of his meetings with teams feeling like he’d been bashed the whole time.

Combine interviews can be weird, and some people have been asked very strange questions in the past. Here, it seems that a couple teams wanted to hear about Polite’s flaws or shortcomings on and off the field. It’s essentially par for the course.