Plenty of hype: One of the most talked about aspects of the NFL Scouting Combine is the performance of players in the 40-yard dash. But NFL Network Analyst Mike Mayock said not to read too much into it.
"The most overhyped thing is the 40-yard dash," said Mayock. "It's fun, and it's easily calculable, so we can sit there and compare everybody. But it often doesn't matter what a lot of these guys run at the end of the day. Ninety-five percent of it, 99 percent of it should be about their tape and what they've already done.
"I think the most under-looked piece of it is a combination of the interviews and the medical, and that's why this thing started 30 years ago anyway, was to get unified medical reports on all these kids."
Getting defensive:** If you are a team looking for help in the defensive line, or even at cornerback, this is going to be a good NFL Draft according to Mayock. "It's a defensive draft," said Mayock. "Best interior defensive line I've seen maybe since I've started doing this. The good news is we're so deep on defense, so defensive tackles and the corners especially, it's going to be a good year for those groups.
"I think what you're going to see happening with that interior defensive line group, and when I've had this discussion with a lot of people, and this is how good it is. You could wait until the third or fourth round this year and get a defensive tackle that in past drafts was a first or second rounder. I mean, I've heard first round grades on plus or minus 10 to 12 defensive tackles this year from various feeds. So a lot of teams are going to wait until the third or fourth round to get that defensive tackle they need because he's still going to be on the board, and you're going to get a second rounder instead of a fourth rounder."
Double check: Mayock said when teams go to the Combine they anticipate players performing similarly to what they have seen on tape, and that it's an opportunity for them to confirm what they have seen. It's when they don't do what is expected is when it becomes a concern.
"I always say the fast guys run fast, slow guys run slow, and it's only a story when the opposite occurs," said Mayock. "So to me it's a cross-check. The Combine should be a cross-check. If Will Fuller runs 4.35, that's great, but I don't care. I expect him to run 4.35. If Will Fuller runs 4.55, now I've got to go back to the tape and see if I evaluated him incorrectly. So that really is it for me and for most teams, it's a cross-check. If the kid is explosive on tape, he should be explosive at the Combine, and if he's not, you'd better figure out why."
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