How Are the Colts Approaching the NFL Combine?

Intro: How each NFL team approaches the Combine differs throughout organizations. Colts Vice President of Football Operations Jimmy Raye offered some insight into how the team is looking at this week’s combine in Indianapolis.

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INDIANAPOLIS –When 335 NFL draft prospects invade Indianapolis later this week, they better be ready to be exposed.

Up to 14 different times, the draft hopefuls will be evaluated in everything from their speed on the field, their durability off of it and all that comes along a 50-question multiple-choice test that needs to be completed in 12 minutes.

So what do NFL teams make of the combine?

How much insight do organizations put into what they gather during their week in Indianapolis?

Jimmy Raye, the Colts Vice President of Football Operations, brings 18 years of NFL experience into this week's combine.

He has dealt with the combine from a variety of angles and he talked last week how the Colts will be approaching the 2014 edition.

"We are currently going through our meetings right now, going through our crosscheck meetings, to establish a basis for each one of these players," Raye said on Colts UpClose.

"Once you get to the combine we have to sort that out. We get the coaches involved. We have the medical procedure. We have all the background information we have to sort through. The thing that we have to do the most is to make sure we have our ducks in a row and make sure that we can evaluate each player accordingly."

Raye and the Colts personnel department will compile every ounce of evaluations this week to try and form a better opinion on the prospects.

However, no matter how much attention is given to this week, the Colts will resort to old faithful.

"What we go back to every time is the tape evaluation. Once we look at the players on tape, that kind of establishes the basis for where they are in terms of our overall evaluation process," Raye says.

"Now, when we add the coaches to this process at the combine, we get a chance to sit down with them, get a chance to interview them. We get to see their physical make up, their medical history of each player. That's just another part of the process that we add to it. It might be a little bit of a difference between one player and another."

One point that might not immediately resonate with people outside of the NFL is the combine isn't the only chance personnel departments get to watch prospects in person.

Last year, a major reason the Colts selected Bjoern Werner in the first round was due to a trip Chuck Pagano and Ryan Grigson made to Tallahassee for a personal workout with the 2012 ACC Defensive Player of the Year.

Throw in all-star games, pro days and other individual workouts and Raye points out that the combine is "just another workout" where guys will have good days and bad days.

Once the combine comes to a close next Tuesday, personnel departments will still have two and a half months to further dissect prospects before the NFL Draft (May 8-10).

Sometimes it feels like a never-ending process for guys like Raye, and he wouldn't have it any other way.

"It's a 12-month a year job," Raye says.

"Ryan does a great job of getting the staff organized and we just go full throttle all the way through. We never stop. When you are really out there looking, you are going to come across some diamonds in the rough."

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