The NFL scouting combine is an opportunity for future NFL prospects to showcase their talents and impress team executives. For some the audition goes well while others fall flat on their face. A few years back the combine was the end all be all, but in recent years we've seen the impact diminished. The top prospects usually host individual work outs and marginal players routinely decide the risk isn't worth the reward. A bad performance could cost them several spots in the draft. With limited participation is the combine still relevant?
Yes and no. At this point the combine is really more to confirm the physical attributes of the top players as opposed to finding a diamond in the rough. There is so much information, analysis, and video footage there's few surprises. The ones that benefit the most are players from small schools that don't get national exposure, but have the talent to excel at the next level.
In addition, the combine drills don't always accurately project who's going to be a star. The top performers in each individual work out category rarely see those results translate on the field. Just because you can lift 225 pounds 30+ times or run a sub 4.4 40 time doesn't mean you have Hall of Fame potential. The game is about more than isolated physical gifts.
The NFL scouting combine is useful, but not always a solid indication of how good a player will be. The game is still played on the field and the drills don't measure intangibles like leadership, durability, and instincts. It's a good frame of reference, but it doesn't tell the whole story.