The NFL combine is in full swing and the talk of the football community is all about which prospects their teams are looking at.
Yes, I am aware that the NFL combine is going on. Although that may be fun for some people, nothing about the NFL combine really gets me excited. Do I like watching guys run around in their underwear? I mean who doesn’t? Do I like seeing inflated times and repetitions of prospects because they have trained for the combine the past couple months? Not really. Think of the NFL combine like a standardized test in high school. Your whole curriculum is based off of passing this one test. They should be putting up ridiculous numbers. Do not get excited about the big numbers but get worried about the guys that are not prepared. In years past their have been plenty of players that look like studs in the NFL combine and never put that into use on the field.
The Case of Vernon Gholston
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Just take a look at defensive end Vernon Gholston. Does anyone remember that name? Exactly. He was one of those prospects that was considered a mid round pick until the NFL combine. Then everything went a little crazy. According to NFLCombineresults.com he ran a 4.65 40 yard time, did 37 bench presses of 225lbs and had a vertical leap of 35.5 inches. He was the marvel of the NFL combine in 2008 and shot right up draft boards. Gholston was eventually drafted by the New York Jets with the 6th overall pick in the 2008 draft. That was the last time he saw any kind of success in the NFL. After 3 season in New York, Gholston’s career was over. According to Pro Football Reference, he finished his career with 16 solo tackles over 3 seasons.
What Titans Fans should focus on
It is easy to get wrapped up in the statistics, but as a fan you should focus on certain things. If there is someone that you like and they have terrible combine numbers steer clear. That person did not prepare themselves for the combine and should not be drafted. Also do not get too excited when a prospect has a really strong showing. For instance today Obi Melifonwu had a ridiculous day at the combine. He ran a 4.4 second 40 yard time, he had a 44 inch vertical jump and his broad jump was 141 inches. Needless to say, he is a freak of nature. Will that transfer to the NFL? The answer is maybe. As easy as it is to fall in love with the numbers it is hard to look the other way. He should be graded on what he did in college.
Right now, I would say if the Titans find Obi Melifonwu in the third or fourth round that would be a good spot for him. Anything higher than that is a stretch because of his gaudy numbers. The NFL combine is in place so fans have something to be excited about. They can watch it on TV and see their favorite prospects work out in a controlled environment. The answers are in the tape though. To find out if a player will be successful in the NFL, you need to look at the overall body of work. There is a reason these guys played college football and did not just work out their whole time in college.