Think of the NFL combine interview process as an upgraded form of speed dating, minus the candles and roses of course. Although I’m sure there are plenty of NFL teams who would be willing to romance guys like Andrew Luck, Robert Griffin III, and Justin Blackmon with those staples. Instead of three minutes or eight minutes, NFL teams have 15 minutes with 60 NFL prospects of their choice.
Teams want to get to know players beyond helmets, pads, and 40-yard dash times. They want to know what kind of people they are. Are there any red flags associated with them? Previous arrests? Learning deficiencies? Additionally, they try to get at how they prepare for a season, their work habits, their passion for football, and their family background.
“I feel like I can play any position on the football field,” former South Carolina DE/LB Melvin Ingram said. That’s the kind of “team player” NFL teams want. Ingram is working out with Von Miller in California right now because the two have the same agent.
If this were in fact a speed dating session, Ingram would be asked about his baggage. Baggage for Ingram means whether or not his past foot injury which caused him to miss the entire 2008 season still gives him problems. An injury like that has to be evaluated as a player makes the leap from college to the pros.
“It just showed me how valuable football was,” Ingram said of having to miss a year. “Football has always been my life, but being without it for a year just made me appreciate it a lot more.”
That’s the kind of answer that will make any GM or scout blush.
The Broncos have director of player personnel Matt Russell kicking off each interview with a rather standard set of questions.
Russell, a former college and NFL linebacker, is the team’s top interrogator, the one who asks the hard questions, queries tailored for each of the 60 players based on research from the scouting department. After Russell asks his eight or so questions, Fox and the coaching staff handle the second half of the interview. There are official note-takers in the room, and each of the interviews is videotaped. – Lindsay Jones (Denver Post)
Under Fox’s first year with the Broncos, the team hit the ball out of the park in the 2011 draft, character wise. Von Miller came into the league with the attitude of seasoned NFL veteran. Orlando Franklin was another good character guy, and we can work all the way down the list.
Put athletic ability aside, character may just count more.