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2010 NFL Combine: Yep, It's Still Taken Too Seriously

INDIANAPOLIS, IN - FEBRUARY 22:  Running back Ian Johnson of Boise State runs the 40 yard dash during the NFL Scouting Combine presented by Under Armour at Lucas Oil Stadium on February 22, 2009 in Indianapolis, Indiana. (Photo by Scott Boehm/Getty Images)
Scott Boehm/Getty Images
Sam FogelgarenCorrespondent IFebruary 8, 2010

Well, the Super Bowl is over, and that means all that us NFL fans have to look forward to is the draft. 

The combine is coming up in a few weeks, and there are lots of exciting things to look forward to, as it is an incredibly important checkpoint in the pre-NFL player's career.

Just kidding.

Unfortunately, I'm only kidding about part of it. The fact that it is so incredibly important is sad but true.

Never did I say it is completely useless. Testing a player's strength, agility and mental keenness are all very important factors of making a great NFL player. 

But there's way too much hype for way too little happening.

The combine can tell you if a player is taking or has taken drugs, tell you if a player has a strong upper body, has quick feet, is fast and if he can answer questions. 

The only thing it can't tell you is whether or not he will succeed in the NFL.

For all it's worth, the combine is a wealth of information for teams, scouts and all members of a team's draft board. 

But it certainly does not always predict well.

For example, and this is based off an ESPN columnist's article, Ian Johnson and Darrius Heyward-Bey were winners of the 2009 combine. Bey was picked prematurely and had a horrendous rookie season while Johnson is on the practice squad for the Vikings. 

Now I'm not faulting the writer of this article, this just continues to show that just because a guy is in good physical shape for his position does not mean he has the mental toughness, and, as ironic as this sounds, the physical toughness to succeed. 

It's natural to be interested in the combine, interested in what kind of shape the players are in upon arrival, seeing if any players exhibit amazing bench press amounts (Ndamukong, we're waiting on you), and even to see if anyone will leave (sorry Andre Smith, but we did notice), and that is good.

Just don't think a good combine means a player will succeed in this league.

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