One of the major news leaks during the NFL Combine is when teams get too unprofessional, asking athletes questions that are too personal. Things like family history and personal opinions on manners that don’t involve football are outside the bounds of what should be typically asked of future NFL players.
For this year’s Combine, the NFL is taking measures to stamp out these issues:
In a memo obtained by the AP that was sent to clubs on Wednesday, the league said a team would forfeit a draft pick between the first and fourth round and be fined a minimum of $150,000 if it’s determined a club representative displayed conduct that is “disrespectful, inappropriate, or unprofessional” during an interview. Fines and/or suspensions of individual club employees also could be imposed, according to the memo.
This is something that has needed to happen for a while. The point of reference, of course, is when then Miami Dolphins general manager Jeff Ireland asked Dez Bryant if his mother was a prostitute. In the future, teams can be fined or could lose draft picks for asking imposing questions like that.
The NFL is also trying to adjust position drills to better match the game itself. The wonderlic is gone forever. The routes run by wide receivers and running backs will change, and the offensive line and defensive line drills will change too.
The league also plans to eliminate the Wonderlic test for prospective players, and it is revising some of its scouting combine drills to better simulate game-related movement. Wide receivers and tight ends will run crossing routes instead of wheel routes, and running backs will run option routes instead of corner and post-corner routes.
Some drills for offensive linemen and defensive players also were revised to better assess in-game player movements.
The NFL Scouting Combine has evolved from numbers on a website to a nationally televised event and into a sickness. Fans care more about the Combine than ever before, and the NFL will continually look to ways to expand it, to get further and further in front of your face, to offer you a bridge between the Super Bowl and the NFL Draft.
The 2022 NFL Combine will begin on Tuesday, March 1st and end on Monday, March 7th.