The NFL Scouting Combine is the ultimate job interview for more than 300 of the top college players. It's an opportunity to prove yourself in front of every NFL head coach, assistant coach, general manager, scout and just about everyone else involved in NFL football operations who descend upon Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis.
For Steelers' linebacker Arthur Moats, the combine was an opportunity to show what he was capable of, how he could handle the pressure, and gave teams a chance to really get to know him.
Moats shared some of his memories about the combine.
Steelers RB Le'Veon Bell, WR Antonio Brown and WR Martavis Bryant began their careers at the combine.
What was your overall impression of the combine?**
"It's the biggest job interview you will ever have. It's what you work for. It's all about the process of your senior year. It's your chance to show the physical side of your measurements, the 40-yard dash which is the big thing, your strength, everything.
"The most important part is your interviews. You have your formal and informal interviews there. The informal ones you are in a ball room with all of the scouts. You answer any type of question, literally. The formal interviews you are in a private room with coaches and general managers and it's more intense. Those are the ones that can really help you out."
What was the craziest question you were asked?
"I will never forget, it was the Washington Redskins interview. A guy asked me if we draft you and it's the first day of meetings and you sit down in a chair and Brian Orakpo comes in and says that's my chair, get up. Are you going to get up or sit there and fight him? I said I am going to get up, he is the veteran, and I don't want any trouble. So he said, dang, are you scared of Brian Orakpo. Why won't you fight him? I was like really, it's a chair. I was thinking are you serious. I am not going to fight a guy who is a veteran over a chair. I am going to be respectful."
What are the physical demands like during the combine?
"Playing in the NFL now I can understand why the process is like it is. There are times when your body is stressed mentally and physically, but you have to perform at a high level. The combine is the first way to emulate that. When you get to the combine you have drug tests at four in the morning and then are in meetings at 11 o'clock at night. There is no consistency or rhythm. I had to get MRIs so I was in there almost 10 hours one day. Every doctor from every team wanted them.
"You would think we would run our 40-yard dash first so we are fresh. But we did our vertical jump, broad jump, position drills, then came the 40. It was like why would you do it in that order? It's all part of the process of how you react. Some of the bigger name guys wouldn't do the tests because they were tired. I went out and performed in the midst of all the craziness and think I performed well. It helped me as far as moving up draft boards."
A look back at current members of the Steelers defense when they were at the NFL Scouting Combine.
What was the best part of the combine?**
"Coming from a small school it was the even playing field, being able to see all the big school, big name guys. The best 300 were there and it's a level playing field. If I run a faster 40 than you, I am faster. It was an even playing field. I wanted everyone to know I could complete and be better than the players from those bigger schools.
"The second was the media coverage and how big it was. Coming from a small school you get a couple of guys there and it was big. But seeing national media there, NFL Network, coaches you heard and read about, seeing all of it. Seeing that many people out there for an event was an exciting time for me. I feed off of it."
What was the worst part about the combine?
"The lack of sleep. I remember it was a nice room we had, but I was only in there for a couple of hours because you are constantly on the move. You are doing things all day. They have you up for drug tests. You have media day. You have workouts. By the time you get to the testing aspect you are drained. It's a part of it."