The NFL scouting combine is fast approaching. The biggest event on the calendar between now and free agency, the combine brings together prospects who will be poked, prodded, and made to do drills and interviews to help teams determine whether they’re going to draft them. It’s sort of a ridiculous event, but teams put quite a bit of a stock in it and players put a lot more, given the potential for them to improve or dent their draft stock.
Ahead of the event itself, I thought a quick primer might be in order. Here’s a little more detail about the combine, how to watch workouts, plus the schedule for this year.
How do I watch combine workouts?
You can watch workouts live on NFL Network and on the NFL’s website, if you’re into that sort of thing.
What is the NFL scouting combine?
For anyone new to the event or anyone who has studiously ignored it in the past, the Combine essentially functions as a showcase for many of the top prospects heading into the 2022 NFL Draft. Hundreds of prospects will descend on Indianapolis in waves over the course of a week from March 1 to March 7 this year, each one being interviewed, lifting, running, being measured and so on and so forth.
The combine can have an outsized impact on a player’s draft stock, with the 40 yard dash coming under fire frequently for its perceived outsized influence. The Falcons under Thomas Dimitroff appeared to favor three cone drills and broad jumps at times in their evaluations, for what it’s worth.
How do the Falcons use the combine?
The glib answer would be “the same as every other team.” They’ll meet with prospects, they’ll take a look at the numbers and the drills that matter to this front office and coaching staff, and they’ll use them to clarify the work they’ve already put into determining who they’ll draft and the work they’ll do in the future.
The less glib answer would be “we don’t know.” Remember, this front office did not get to go to the combine in Terry Fontenot’s first year on the job, because in 2021 it was cancelled due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The degree to which this team will weigh the combine won’t be entirely clear after they go, of course, but right now we know very little about the drills that are important to them and the like.
What is the combine schedule?
- Monday, February 28: TE, QB, WR arrivals and interviews
- Tuesday, March 1: TE, QB, WR medical exams and interviews; OL, RB arrivals and interviews
- Wednesday, March 2: TE, QB, WR media; OL, RB medical exams and interviews; DL, LB arrivals and interviews
- Thursday, March 3: TE, QB, WR measurements, bench press and on-field workouts; OL, RB media and interviews; DL, LB medical exams and interviews; CB, S, special teams arrivals and interviews
- Friday, March 4: OL, RB measurements, bench press and on-field workouts; DL, LB media and interviews ; CB, S, special teams medical exams and interviews
- Saturday, March 5: DL, LB measurements, bench press and on-field workouts; CB, S, special teams media and interviews
- Sunday, March 6: CB, S, special teams measurements, bench press and on-field workouts
- Monday, March 7: The last group finally escapes from Indianapolis