NFL Combine 2012: Examples Why Combine Totals Are Useless

Adam WellsFeatured ColumnistFebruary 24, 2012

INDIANAPOLIS, IN - MARCH 1: Defensive back Aaron Williams #53 runs the 40-yard dash during the 2011 NFL Scouting Combine at Lucas Oil Stadium on February 28, 2011 in Indianapolis, Indiana. (Photo by Joe Robbins/Getty Images)
Joe Robbins/Getty Images

When you become so enamored with the 40-yard time of a pocket quarterback or field goal kicker, you know that something is wrong with the NFL Scouting Combine evaluation process. 

Fans and analysts are so obsessed with every little detail of a player's measurables to the point that no one really cares what they can do on the field. Does it really matter how high a punter can jump?

There are so many things that will be talked about this weekend, and so little of it actually matters when determining whether a player will be a successful NFL player. 

Here are some prime examples of why combine totals mean nothing. 

 

Jerry Rice Ran 40-Yard Dash In 4.71 Seconds

17 Dec 2000: Jerry Rice #80 of the San Francisco 49ers is defended by Jerry Azumah of the Chicago Bears during their game at 3Comm Park in San Francisco, California. San Francisco went on to win 17-0. DIGITAL IMAGE. Mandatory Credit: Jed Jacobsohn/ALLSPOR
Jed Jacobsohn/Getty Images

Everyone's favorite combine event, the 40-yard dash, is as pointless as any that will take place in Indianapolis this weekend. 

The greatest wide receiver in NFL history, and one of the best players ever, Jerry Rice would have fallen out of the first round this year if he ran a 4.71 time. He might not have been a second-round selection with a time like that. 

When you watch a player run the 40 this weekend, ask yourself this: Just how many times will a receiver ever run 40 yards in a straight line in the NFL?

 

John Engelberger Ran Three-Cone Drill in 6.95 Seconds

DENVER - DECEMBER 31: John Engelberger #60 of the Denver Broncos gets ready to move at the snap during the game against the San Francisco 49ers at Invesco Field at Mile High on December 31, 2006 in Denver, Colorado. The 49ers won 26-23, eliminating the Br
Brian Bahr/Getty Images

Speed is a virtue at the defensive end position, but it is not the only thing that matters. You have to understand how to play the game. 

Engelberger's stock soared after his incredible time in the three-cone drill. He moved to the top of the second round when he was taken by the San Francisco 49ers. 

He did end up playing nine seasons with two different teams with mixed results. His best year was with the 49ers in 2004, when he had six sacks and started 15 games. But the workout looked a lot better than the on-field results. 

 

Justin Ernest Did 51 Reps On 225-Pound Bench Press

Ernest is the best example of just how much being able to lift a lot of weight really means nothing in the NFL. 

He put together one of the best combine performances in any event, when he did 51 reps on the bench press in 1999. That led to him not being drafted and signing with the New Orleans Saints. He never made it on the field. 

The spectacle of what Ernest managed to accomplish was actually more impressive than anything he could do in the NFL.