clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

NFL Draft Pro Days: Much Ado About Nothing?

As we are in the midst of the Pro Day schedule, Battle Red Blog ponders the importance of a good, or bad, showing at Pro Day.

In the interest of fair time...Blake Bortles.
In the interest of fair time...Blake Bortles.
Brian Spurlock-USA TODAY Sports

Much ado about nothing. Not only is that the title of a fantastic play by William Shakespeare, but it aptly sums up my feelings on the Pro Day phenomenon.

As we are in the vortex of the Pro Day season, notably coming after most of the big name quarterbacks are done, I feel the need to put this opinion out there. It's a whole lot of hoopla over guys in shorts in a non-competitive, pre-planned scenario.

If said prospect does well, it's because the scenario is tailored for them to show off without any opposition. If they do poorly, what's it matter since they will never be on the football field in this sort of tepid situation? As with the NFL Combine's archaic drills that fail to translate to on-field performance, there is nothing to be gained here. There is nothing to see here. It's a glorified, half-speed practice, and everyone has good and bad practice days.

Yes, I firmly believe the NFL Draft season should be completely revamped; that's another discussion for another day. On point here, the real gains of the Draft season are in medical records, interviews, and private workouts. Is Player X healthy? Is he mentally stable and smart? Is he able to be to show us he has the ability and skill to do what we need him to do? How much polishing does Player X need? Can he be coached out of bad habits or into refined technique? This matters because I have tape on the improvement and gameplay.

At the end of the day, I don't care if Teddy Bridgewater wasn't as sharp at his pro day as he normally is because I have three years of tape to show me otherwise. I don't care if Johnny Manziel hit Mike Evans for another deep ball because he won't be throwing to Mike Evans on Sundays unless Cleveland does something about it and yes, I definitely think Mike Evans isn't getting his due as a prospect. Blake Bortles, Derek Carr, Jadeveon Clowney, and the rest could look like studs, but we're talking about non-competitive drills in shorts.

Is this a narrow-minded view of Pro Days? Perhaps. When someone lifts the Lombardi Trophy wearing shorts, I'll re-visit this opinion. What say you, BRBers? Are your hearts and minds swayed by the actions of a prospect in Pro Day or is your draft board set and waiting for April May?