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Rob Long: Serving Its Purpose

Some would tell you that the NFL Combine is a big waste of time. They would also say that it's just a bunch of guys in tights running around doing non-football "stuff." Those people probably don't understand the measurables of playing football, especially on that high level.

There's nothing in the Combine that isn't important to playing football. The game is, now more than ever, about speed. The 40-yard dash measures your explosiveness. How many times have you seen Chris Johnson get caught from behind? He has the best 40 time ever. It means something.

Yes, there are some Combine "studs" who have flamed out in their quest for NFL greatness but the combine has revealed potential greatness more than fraudulence in the system.

The combine has also introduced it's adoring public to players from small schools. Dwight Bentley of Louisiana-Lafayette ran an unofficial 4.37. While you may say it's just running and it does't truly reveal his true football skills, it has captured the attention of the NFL coaches. That's what an undersized corner from a small school needs. Mr. Bentley stood toe to toe against the giants of college football and shined. That's what the NFL Combine is all about.

Rob Long

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