Today marks the start of the NFL Combine, an opportunity for NFL prospects to showcase their skills for NFL scouts. The combine test the physical and mental skills of these players and can help or harm their draft stock.
The big story at this year’s combine is who will go first overall? Jameis Winston, or Marcus Mariota? The Buccaneers who currently own the first pick in the draft have a big decision to make. The Bucs need to improve their quarterback situation and have an opportunity to make a drastic upgrade in talent under center. Both QB’s are Heisman Trophy Winners and have played in National Championship games (Winston won his game though).
Other factors that come into play when talking about these players are their leadership and off the field conduct. Winston has dealt with conduct issues such as theft and an alleged sexual assault case. Mariota, who has a clean conduct record has had his leadership skills questioned. Marcus has been pushed by his coaches to become a more vocal leader, which is important at the quarterback position, Winston on the other hand has been seen as a vocal and fiery leader that his team rallies around.
During medical exams at the combine an issue came up that has raised questions about Winston. The exams showed that he is experiencing weakness in his throwing shoulder which is a vital aspect of his performance.
Further testing will be conducted in order to get to the bottom of this problem.
Besides the quarterback battle other players are showcasing their skills at other positions.
One of the more interesting tests to watch is the 40- yard dash. Especially when offensive linemen are running it. The biggest men on the field flying down the line.
As more players go through the test this weekend we may see some relatively unknown players shoot into the spotlight and move up in draft stock. But ultimately we won’t see what the scouts learned about these players until the NFL Draft occurs.