Hawkeye

Student Athletes Shine at 2016 NFL Combine

Matt Mion, Staff Writer

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  The NFL Combine, a melting pot of student-athletes demonstrating their physical talents and abilities, with the hopes of impressing a professional coach from the National Football League.

  For most of these athletes, this contest represents the culmination of their football training throughout their short career. The combine is split into four days, with each day set aside for a different set of athletes by position. For instance, one day is reserved for Defensive Lineman and Linebackers, whereas another day is specifically set aside for Quarterbacks and Wide Receivers. This allows for similar football positions to train together cohesively.

  The Combine for athletes is by invite only, meaning only a certain percentage of college football get to attend. Over 260 of the Nationís best college football players were in attendance. Additionally, General Managers and Head Coaches from all 32 of the professional football teams attend to watch these students perform.

  Each day starts off with different drills for the athletes to participate in. The iconic cone drill, vertical jump, and famed 40-yard dash are among these drills. In addition to these more basic drills, participants also compete in position specific drills.

  These drills allow for these students to be observed displaying their talent in on-the-field situations. They are also good for the coaches and GM’s allowing them to observe potential cornerstones for their franchise.

  The NFL Combine met for the very first time here in Tampa, in 1982. Originally known as the National Invitation Camp (NIC), the idea was to create a weeklong showcase of the nationís top talent, as they ultimately prepared for the professional draft a few months down the road.

  Over the next couple of years, the combine bounced around different host stadiums before finally landing a home at Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis, Indiana.

  While some may view the NFL Combine as a waste in time for athletes who could be preparing at their schools away from the national spotlight, many analysts tend to view the pressure as a good thing.

  Some, like analyst Chase Goodbread, believe it is necessary because it allows Top prospects to explain character issues.

  Students with known character issues are afforded their chance to explain how they have moved on from their issues, and why these teams should consider them for their organization.

  There have been many reports complaining that some of the drills are not conducive and do not accurately represent how an athlete would perform on the field.

  A representative for the National Football League stated that “they are currently evaluating and discussing the future of certain drills at this event.”

  However despite these controversies,  the NFL combine still represents that hope for some athletes that wish to achieve their dream of becoming a professional football player.

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Student Athletes Shine at 2016 NFL Combine