Ryan Grigson Previews 2015 NFL Combine

Intro: The NFL Scouting Combine in Indianapolis this week is the first major offseason event for Ryan Grigson and his personnel department. How are they viewing this week?

Grigson.jpg
EmbarqueAd238X250.jpg

INDIANAPOLIS – For the next week, Colts General Manager Ryan Grigson will observe more than 300 NFL prospects at Lucas Oil Stadium to see who has the qualities to possibly call that stadium home next fall.

The NFL Scouting Combine will run through next Monday with Grigson and his staff starting their days well before the sun rises and not ending until it has set.

How does Grigson approach the first major event of the 2015 offseason?

As a staff, what are one or two of the biggest pieces of information regarding prospects you are trying to discover and takeaway from the Combine each year?

**

The actual interview with the player we feel is incredibly important. It is where you find out how the player fits in so many ways from primarily a mental and character standpoint. Every year there is a guy who walks through the door that just brings tremendous energy and enthusiasm that is tangible and you make note of those types of strong interactions. The other I would say is the 40 time, not that it is or isn't the reason to draft a guy, but at the end of the day it helps you assign proper market value to the player. Especially at those skill positions.

**

For you, what is the most beneficial element of the Combine that might outweigh all others---the medical reports? The on-the-field drills? The interviews with the players? A combination of all those?

**

Medical is critical and sometimes it is very disappointing because I am no doctor and we have no choice but to trust our medical staff when it comes to taking a player we really like off our board. Again the interviews are where you try and get all your questions answered about any problem areas with the player on or off field. I'm just not a big fan of the field drills. I watch them but the environment isn't a football game. It is in shorts and in a controlled setting so you can get fooled to a degree because some guys move different when there's bullets flying. Now there are guys that really stand out and pop when you're watching them and those are the only ones I make note of. It is usually from just a pure movement standpoint. Does he significantly stand out because he just has more juice and pure athleticism than anyone else in his position group? Or does he separate himself due to the way he attacks a drill and that perceived competitiveness, not his true athletic ability, is the actual factor in his rate of speed? Things like that specifically have helped sway me in the past towards a particular player but as a whole, the film is the true equalizer at the end of the day.

**

Do you typically walk away from the Combine with players moving up or down your board significantly as compared to where you had them slotted previously? Or is it more affirming the information and evaluation you've gathered from your scouts during the college season and on film?

**

We honestly don't touch our board much after the combine. I feel that is where big mistakes can be made because you are getting farther and farther away from your initial grade which was primarily off the game film, school visit and live look. Now we do add and move some guys here and there due to guys running terrible, or a player testing off the charts, or for medical reasons. For instance, there may be a WR everyone loved that you think runs 4.5 but runs 4.75 at Indy and you're just not going to draft that guy realistically so you move him down or to your college free agent board. There's always exceptions to the rule like Anquan Boldin but they are few and far between.

**

In the last three years, can you recall a player you ended up drafting who really impressed you at the Combine and might have slid up your board based on that performance?

**

Just last year Jonathan Newsome was one. He didn't move up significantly on our board, but he really just validated us taking him based on the true athleticism he showed in all the drills and testing. Especially in the drills. He was a guy that kind of perked up the whole box when he started moving around out there. Kind of got your blood pumping and woke us up after watching a bunch of somewhat ordinary athletes. You don't want ordinary.

**

Lastly, how do you break down the duties of your staff at the Combine? Do scouts continue to watch and evaluate the players they have scouted throughout the college season or do you kind of switch duties a bit and have members of your staff cross-check/reference players they haven't seen, but another member of the staff has?

**

We assign all different types of duties during the combine and none are tied to scouting a specific region. They are more position specific and more intertwined with that scout's cross check position (an assigned position group for each area scout to evaluate off the film after all the fall grades come in). Some duties I can't go into detail on but we have some doing the timing, some recording the testing numbers, the pro day announcements and some we have watching certain players in the position drills. Some we actually have working down on the field. You are only allowed so many combine workers but it is a great way to be on the ground floor and those coaches/scouts that are group leaders or are running a drill really get a unique perspective. Many times these kids let their hair down around some of the scouts, coaches and even our equipment guys down on the field. It can give us a window into who they really are. A lot of times it's not anywhere near the façade some present in the formal interviews when they're sort of dressed to impress. So you get a much better read in some cases into what a kid really is from their random interaction with equipment managers, doctors and athletic training staff at the combine. We take everything into account.

*

This article has been reproduced in a new format and may be missing content or contain faulty links. Please use the Contact Us link in our site footer to report an issue.

Related Content

2023 Season Tickets On Sale Now!

2023 Season Tickets On Sale Now!

Secure the best seats, benefits & more for next season! Be there live for exciting matchups against the Pittsburgh Steelers, Tampa Bay Buccaneers and more opponents to be announced soon. Learn more today!

Advertising