For the first time in decades, the NFL Scouting Combine will not be held, depriving NFL scouts of a central hub for measuring and testing the top prospects in the draft. But the reigning Super Bowl champion doesn't seem too concerned.
Speaking to the Tampa Bay Times, Buccaneers head coach Bruce Arians dismissed worries about the Combine being canceled. He declared that he judges players based on their in-game tape, not measurements or speeds.
“I think for me, it’s always been what’s on tape — now let’s do the background on the person,” Arians said. “You go to the combine, you fall in love with those guys in shorts, they run a 4.3 (40-yard dash). You look at the film though, they don’t run 4.3... and that guy that ran 4.6, he’s the fastest guy on the field. So the tape don’t lie. You can fall in love and get your heart broken at the Combine.”
He's not too far off. Oftentimes the Combine has boosted the stock of players who didn't deserve it and lowered the stock of those who were otherwise can't-miss.
The Buccaneers own the 32nd, 64th and 96th overall picks in the first three rounds of the 2021 NFL Draft.
Fortunately for Bruce Arians and everyone else getting ready for the draft, there are still Pro Days going on. While it will require more travel and strategic deployment of scouts, NFL teams can get just about everything they need from the various college Pro Days.
The weeks leading up to the NFL Draft are going to feel a lot longer without the Combine though.
But we're closing in the start of the new league year. And based on the trades we've seen so far, this could be great.