The Combine by Adam Carriker
In the end of February, Adam Carriker decided to write blog articles for Pro Interviews. Carriker played collegiately for the Nebraska Cornhuskers. He was selected in the 1st round of the 2007 NFL Draft by the St. Louis Rams. He was then traded in 2010 to the Washington Redskins. He’s been a member of the Redskins since. He writes about what his combine experience was like before the 2007 NFL Draft. It’s a great read for his first blog!
It’s no secret that the Combine is huge part of the process in drafting a college football player into the pros. A lot of money is made and a lot of money is lost in Lucas Oil Stadium that weekend. A person who runs a great forty can move up a long ways, or if you run a slow forty, you can drop a lot in the draft. It is a pressure packed situation that causes some guys to rise to the top, and causes others to crumble like an old piece of bread.
In my experience, the Combine was not a lot of fun. Everybody knows about the forty, the vertical leap, the bench press, and so on. We train for months in order to get ready for all of these “On-Field” Drills. But in reality, those are the very last things you do on your very last day at the Combine. There are interviews upon interviews with teams. Sometimes, I would meet with a team, and there would be thirty to forty people in the room. With some teams, it would be a one-on-one situation. Some other teams would be very light-hearted and a lot of fun to talk to. Other teams would turn the temperature in the room up, show you the worst plays of your career, and be downright disrespectful. You don’t know what team you’re going to be meeting with until you walk in the room, and you have no idea how the meeting is set up. I have never gone speed dating but this is what I imagine it’s like.
Honestly, I loved that part of the combine. I loved the interviews and I also enjoyed showcasing my strength and athletic ability on the field. What I hated was getting absolutely no sleep for about four days straight. You get to bed after the interviews at about 1 or 2 in the morning, and then, you have to get up at 4:30am to do all these drugs tests, along with a bunch of other tests that they want to do on you. It’s amazing the tests they come up with and have you doing all day to test your mental capabilities and other random skills. For example, they will show you about twenty different pictures and at the end of it they will ask you what was in picture number six to see if you remember. Another one they had me do is they would say about ten numbers to you in no particular order, and when they’re done, they want you to repeat them back to you in the same exact order. Then, to mess with you, they have you do it backwards.
Like I said, I loved all of this stuff. I enjoyed the interviews, the tests, and the challenges. I just need more than two to three hours of sleep a night. At the end of it, I had never been so tired in my entire life! I was glad to show my talents off, and to have the opportunity of a lifetime to go to the Combine. But when it was over, I was ready to move on. I went home and I think I slept for three days straight.
Overall my combine experience was pretty typical and one that I will remember forever. It’s an opportunity you dream about your whole life and something you spend a long time training for. But, it was not something that I enjoyed and honestly, I’m glad I’ll never have to do it again. Good luck to the guys who do!