The Combine is over and we are ready for the NFL Draft to change lives, and change team rosters.
Traditionally, Super Bowl champions are last to pick, and the lowest ranking team picks first. That means that the Carolina Panthers have the first pick this year and Kansas City the last. “Interestingly”, the Miami Dolphins have had to forfeit their first round pick this year, and will be forfeiting their third round pick in 2024. (An epic football story of intrigue to discuss in another article.)
Image – Acme Packing Company
First, the Combine
Before the NFL can have the Draft, the collegiate players have to be invited to the Combine, which happened this year Feb. 27-March 6. Getting invited to test in the NFL Scouting Combine is a feat on its own. Players are tested physically in events like the 40 yard dash, vertical jump, 3-cone drill, positional skills, etc., but their medical state and their mental/emotional health are also examined.
Image – The Boston Herald
This rigorous 4 days of testing is ideally a period to test not only a players ability on the field and physical potential, but their capacity to handle the stress of a professional career as well. The Combine is a complex event and opportunity. It allows assessment of the probability of injury/reinjury while narrowing the pool of players and ranking them for the Draft.
Medical, mental, and emotional health are all important long term factors. It is not only physical aptitude and performance outcomes that can impact a career trajectory. Immaturity is something that has been talked about as a concern in the past and is still a concern. It is important to try to understand how an athlete transitioning from college to professional may handle being with more mature players who are better than them. Other considerations might be how they respond to coaching and instruction, even how they may respond to new wealth. There are a lot of important things to assess in a short amount of time.
Image – PFF
2023 Draft, April 27-April 29
You can get familiar with this year’s Combine rankings then watch the Draft Thursday April 27th, 8 p.m., Friday April 28th, 7 p.m., and Saturday April 29th, 12 p.m. A lot of hard training hours go into getting to and through the Combine and to the Draft. These are the absolute fastest, strongest, most explosively powerful collegiate football players waiting for their dreams to come true.
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