Sunday, February 23, 2014

2014 NFL Combine

As I sit here watching and tracking my own stats from the Annual NFL Combine (an event that NFL teams use to gauge the athleticism of the upcoming rookie class prior to the NFL Draft), I wanted to make a quick post detailing some of the new things I'm tracking and will post here once the combine is over. 

Speed -

I've taken the best time in the history of the combine since electronic timing was introduced (Chris Johnson ran a 4.24) and use that as the base, then using a mathematical formula the player is then given a rating on a scale of 0-100 (some offensive lineman are below a zero so we'll be nice and bump them to a 0 since we won't rely on them to run 40 yards in an actual game).  Think of this in terms of the Madden games, the higher the rating, the faster the player.  (Reference:

Lbs/Inch -

I've taken the players height and weight into account this year and using a simple formula I can gauge the player's body fat level, similar to BMI, but not going that in depth.  I simply want to see the players weight per their size which I also use in the Strength category this year.

Strength -

Real simple, take the number of reps on the bench press and divide that by the Lbs/Inch and use an additional part of the formula to fix it to a scale similar to the speed. 

I'll post all the results once official 40 times are done posting and so on.  Keep in mind that some players are electing to not work out at the combine and will use their pro day to work out, this by the way I think is complete crap.  I don't mind a player working out on a pro-day and maybe improving their 40 times, etc., but this combine may be the only chance you have to get all 32 teams to look at you and to compare yourself to guys that come from other teams.  To me, as a stats guy, I can only put a non performance in the lazy or cowardice category.  I know this one performance doesn't change how a guys going to do in the pros, but as a GM I'd bump these guys down and promote the ones who took this as a serious job interview and worked out in front of me.  In no other job in our country would you tell a potential employer for them to come see you do your thing because you won't do it in front of them.  The only reason I could excuse someone not working out or doing a drill is due to injury.  I think Pro Days should be like snow make up days in school, only if necessary.  If you do bad at the combine, participate in the pro day, if you are hurt during the combine, participate in the pro day.  I would love to see the NFL put something into effect stopping this crap of I'm better than your combine and afraid I'll have a bad work out in front of all 32 teams.  It's crap and I personally hope these guys don't get drafted and don't make the money they could have had they simply done the damn interview. 

Now that I'm off that soap box, Michael Sam (LB, Missouri, SEC Co-Defensive Player of the Year) has announced prior to the combine that his sexual preference is other men.  That's fine, I'm not one to judge a person's beliefs, I just hope the guys in his future locker room treat him better than the guys that were in the Dolphins locker room this past season.  If somehow he doesn't get drafted in this year's annual event, shame on you NFL and all 32 teams should be held accountable, dock each team a pick in the next year's draft or even fine them all, do something, take away TV revenue from them and put it into a new foundation to help young men and women or something.  We live in the land of the free and home of the brave, it doesn't say anywhere in that decree that it only applies if you're heterosexual.  I'm not going to get into a Biblical debate with anyone on this, as that would be you putting your personal opinion about someone other than yourself and their sexual preference, and just like you would want to be entitled to that opinion, Michael Sam is entitled to his.  Like he said in his press conference yesterday, I just hope everyone judges him as a football player, not as anything else.

Jadeveon Clowney is overrated, saying it here first like when I called the Super Bowl at this time last year.  I'm not saying he's an NFL bust, but to say he's got more upside than Mario Williams had is just insane.  I remember everyone thinking the Texans were crazy to get Williams with the #1 pick the year he came out, and now you're wanting them to do that again with Clowney, who to his credit is a mediocre player with an OK work ethic.  His press conference even came off as arrogant and cocky, telling someone that if they wanted to see his work ethic to just put on tape from last year.  That's not work ethic, that's game time work ethic which still wasn't that impressive considering his numbers were not huge.  Yeah, he had a few tackles for loss and a few sacks, but the bottom line is that when it came to a big time game, he was nowhere to be found.  When he was against SEC offensive lineman, again, nowhere to be found.  And last but not least, you take away his one big hit highlight reel from 2 years ago and NOBODY would be talking about this guy.  Granted it was a hell of a play but it's not like he went out and did it ever again.  Hell if everyone judged Romo off of one good play he made a few years ago and ignored the mediocrity that makes up about half-3/4 of Romo's play, he'd be in the same league as Brady and Manning.  Put that in perspective. 

That's all for now, enjoy the combine and I'll check back in a while.

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