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2007 NFL Scouting Combine begins today

The NFL Scouting Combine begins today in Indianapolis. If you are new to this site, or new to the NFL in general and you have no idea what the "Combine" is, here's a quick low-down: NFL teams send scouts to the RCA Dome in Indianapolis, where the Combine is always held. There, several invited college recruits work out for NFL scouts in preparation for the NFL Draft. The Combine is a great opportunity for players to showcase themselves.

Now, there's a recent trend among fans to suggest the Combine is over-rated; that too much emphasis is placed on speed, strength, agility, etc. That might be true, but the Combine is indeed very necessary, and having players that are fast and strong is always a plus. I'll give you a prime example of why the Combine is important, and how it can help players showcase their abilities:

Antoine Bethea.

Bethea was a safety at Howard. No one had ever heard of him, but he was invited to the Combine last year and he tore it up. He ran a 4.39, which is absolutely, insanely fast for a safety. His bench press and vertical jump numbers were amazing. He really caught the eye of NFL scouts. Because of his excellent workouts at the Combine, he got drafted... in the sixth round by the Colts.

Bethea went on to beat out starting safety Mike Doss and entrenched himself as the starting FS in the Colts Cover 2 defense. Bethea played Cover 2 at Howard. This, coupled with his amazing physical abilities, allowed him to hold onto that starting FS position. All season long, Bethea was a monster. Despite injuries to Bob Sanders, Doss, and Marlin Jackson... Bethea still played, and played well. In the playoffs, Bethea made several big plays, including key interceptions of Steve McNair and Tom Brady.

Without the Combine, no one would have drafted this guy, and without Bethea the Colts would not have won a championship. So, shuttle times and bench press numbers are certainly not over-rated, and the Combine is indeed very, very necessary.