Winston Journal: "NFL Scouting Combine"

Eric Winston shares his latest in a series of journal entries with that started after a knee injury in October 2004.


Now that the Senior Bowl is over I have put my sole focus on the NFL Scouting Combine, scheduled for Feb. 22-28 in Indianapolis.

For those who aren't familiar with the Combine, it is an event the National Scouting Service puts on every year inviting the top guys in the draft. The National Scouting Service is a company that scouts and rates players every year for certain NFL teams. The other company that does this is called Blesto which is actually an acronym based on the teams they provide the service for.

Now that the background is out of the way, we can get back to the subject.

The National Scouting Service completely rents out a hotel which I am told is connected to the RCA Dome. The hotel only allows players and NFL personnel to enter. No agents, no apparel people, no fans. I think the only media that is allowed is the NFL network which will be broadcasting some of the workouts.

I personally really like this idea. At the Senior Bowl, there were so many people there who had no business there. There were agents that didn't have any clients playing, financial advisors trying to talk to guys, and professional autograph seekers who wanted every helmet they had signed.

This made for a really crowded floor with people who were interfering with the main objective the players and NFL personnel were there for. With this rule, it should make for easy interaction between any member of any team that needs to talk to any player.

The combine is now a four-day event that used to be a two-day event. They have made it more player friendly by stretching it out to better accommodate the players. I believe the offensive linemen and defensive linemen are the first to go. They stagger the groups so there is not such a clump of guys there.

The first day will be a medical day for the players. All players will get physicals and those who have had injuries will get MRIs and any other fun things the doctors can think to make you do.

During the first day, I will have to test on a machine called a Bio-dex machine. It measures the strength in each of your legs through a series of tests.

I have been practicing so I am not worried about it. Dr. Uribe, the physician that performed my knee surgery, has recently tested it out and did the tests the doctors will there and said it felt "great". I told him it felt that way but doctors for some reason never take my word for it.

The second day will feature all the tests the teams like us to take such as personality tests and the wonderlic test. The wonderlic is basically an aptitude test that shows problem solving skills and reasoning skills. You answer as many questions up to 50 as you can in 12 minutes.

On this day the bench press is done. They ask you to rep 225 pounds as many times as you can. The next two days have all the running and sports specific drills they ask you to do.

The basic timed drills are the 40-yard dash, where they time your 10- and 20-yard split time. A lot of O-line coaches look at that rather than the 40. The 5-10-5 shuttle drill and the 3-cone drill, which is another type of agility drill, are also done on this day.

With a good combine, my draft staus could elevate.

I know my medicals will check out and the rest is up to me. Talk to you after the combine.


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