This week, the NFL world will converge on Indianapolis as executives, coaches, scouts agents, and a number of other people from the league arrive to watch hundreds of the best college prospects for the NFL Draft at the annual Scouting Combine.
Some of the events - such as the interview process and medical examinations - are very worthwhile and beneficial for teams. Others - such as the 40 yard dash - have questionable results in accurately helping teams and prospects prepare for the Draft. According to the USA Today's Tom Pelissero, the NFL is considering changes to the Combine to make it more beneficial and practical.
National Football Scouting Inc., which runs the combine, is establishing a committee of league executives, scouts, coaches, athletic trainers, team physicians and others to review all phases of the annual event starting this week in Indianapolis, according to company president Jeff Foster.
The NFL's operations department also is involved in the review process, which will include periodic checkpoints through April's draft and beyond, Foster said - a sign of increased interest at the league level in a possible overhaul amidst evolving technology and sports science.
Pelissero mentions in the article how many - including and perhaps most notably Patriots coach Bill Belichick - view some of the events of the combine and the preparation leading up to it as a waste of time. It makes sense, too, as prospects spend so much time preparing for the measurable that come with the Combine - such as the 40 yard dash - that it hinders the time they can put in to prepare for more meaningful skills as they hope to make the jump to the NFL.
It makes sense for the NFL and the National Football Scouting Inc. to consider how to make the Combine more helpful and practical to teams in today's day and age. When Ryan Grigson, Chuck Pagano, and the rest of the Colts' brass heads to Lucas Oil Stadium this week to scout prospects, some of the information they gather will be useful and some of it won't be. As the Scouting Combine continues to grow and continues to be a major event in the draft process, it's smart to consider how it could become better. Whether that means getting rid of things such as the 40 yard dash remains to be seen, but it's worth keeping an eye on as changes are considered.