Under the Microscope

Today’s high profile NFL Combine is more about sterile medical and measurement data collection than character evaluations. Jack Bechta

Print This February 08, 2012, 04:00 PM EST

The Giants would monopolize players’ time by giving them a four hour psychological test. Draftees were so mentally fried that nobody wanted to interview them afterwards. In addition, area scouts could be fired if they could not get pre-targeted draftees to the interview room. It was the wild, wild west days of the Combine.

Today's Combine gives every team the opportunity to meet with a player for a max time of 15 minutes. It’s speed dating and team execs now focus primarily on juniors and/or players who they have a discrepancy on or have a character concern.

I tell my clients to use interview times to sell themselves. Let the team coaches, scouts and execs know how badly you want to be successful. I advise them to look them in the eyes and let them know how important an NFL career is to them. I advise them to be honest, be themselves, but be passionate (and memorable) about the depths of their commitment.

As prepared as the majority of players are, there are some who still hurt themselves by making mistakes. Some of those who choose not to workout (which is okay) will leave immediately after the physicals without telling anyone. This action sends a message that the player is either hiding something or is being ill advised. It can result in a red flag with some teams. Other guys still lie in their interviews. Teams will ask hard questions that they already know the answer to and want to see how the player will respond. A handful of guys still show up overweight and unprepared for their position drills.

The Combine doesn’t usually make or break a player’s draft value but a well-prepared player can maintain and even increase his draft stock. Those who are unprepared stick out sorely and cost themselves a lot of money.

Follow me on Twitter: @Jackbechta

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