What Does a Coach Look For at the NFL Combine?

For the answers, we asked former Colts coach Rick Venturi.

INDIANAPOLIS --- The NFL Combine begins Tuesday at Lucas Oil Stadium, with player interviews beginning Wednesday. That means 332 prospects will run the 40-yard-dash, bench press, broad jump, and go through a laundry list of drills in hopes of getting drafted.

But what do all the measurables mean? What's the context behind all those numbers? For that, I interviewed former Colts coach Rick Venturi, who spent 27 years coaching in the NFL and more than a decade with the Colts.

He answered some of those questions.


Which NFL Combine drills do you not care as much about when evaluating players?

"I'm not a big 3-cone (drill) guy. The 3-cone is good. I look at it for agility, for finesse, but it's not something I put a great amount of stock, other than the relativity of it. I don't want to minimize the 3-cone...you are looking at quick change. You are looking at body control.

I might add something here. I never wanted to go to the Combine, with the Combine workout being my first look at a guy. I always wanted to have at least some tape exposure. I always wanted to make an opinion, even if it was a quick opinion on a guy as a player, and then let the workout fill in the blanks for me. I never wanted it to be in reverse."

What positions matter most for the 40-yard-dash?

We hear a lot about the 10-yard split in the 40-yard-dash for linemen. Do you look at that more than the overall 40 with those positions?

What other Combine drills do you really like to assess?

(To hear Venturi's answers to these questions, click on the 1-on-1 video interview above.)

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