NFL Combine 2024: The reasons for the opt-outs

The NFL Combine 2024 is just around the corner. However, a number of top stars will not be taking part in the show run. A development that has been observed for several years. The reasons are different

40-yard dash, long jump, numerous drills on the field, medical checks, interviews with journalists, talks with representatives of the NFL teams and, and, and.

In short: for the budding NFL players, the annual NFL Combine is packed with a tight and intensive program on and off the field.

This year, the best college players will once again be able to show off their skills in Indianapolis.

However, a number of the top stars will not be taking part, or only in part. A trend that is gaining more and more momentum

Currently, consistent media reports indicate that highly touted quarterbacks Caleb Williams, Drake Maye and Jayden Daniels will skip on-field activities. The same goes for wide receiver Malik Nabers. Marvin Harrison Jr. isn’t even expected to travel to Indianapolis.

Opt-Outs: Rising trend

It’s not been uncommon for star players to miss practices for a few years now. Lamar Jackson and Kyler Murray opted out of the 40-yard dash in their respective appearances, and last year Bryce Young did not participate in any drills.

Several head coaches will also not be at the Combine this year. Sean McVay (Los Angeles Rams), Mike McCarthy (Dallas Cowboys), Robert Saleh (New York Jets), Kyle Shanahan (San Francisco 49ers) and Matt LaFleur (Green Bay Packers) have already canceled

NFL Combine 2024: Many reasons for opt-outs

The decision of a player not to participate in the Combine can have many reasons and is ultimately a subjective assessment.

Different training philosophies: Training for athletic drills differs from football training. NFL insider Albert Breer, for example, reported that Marvin Harrison Jr. would rather work with his athletic trainer and play football than invest his time in sprint drills.

In addition, changing the training routine and participating in athletic testing and drills on the field can increase the risk of injury.

Packed Combine: The multi-day Combine is packed with appointments. Players go through drills, medical checks, meetings and media interviews from morning to night. This can increase the risk of injury on the one hand and reduce performance on the pitch and in athletics drills on the other.

In addition, “wrong” answers in discussions with team representatives or “bad” interviews with the press can cause the player’s stock to drop. As a result, he could be selected later in the draft.

Pro Day is preferred: This is another reason why players prefer to show up at their own Pro Day (organized by the player’s former college). The procedures there are familiar, and there is also the opportunity – unlike at the Combine – to run through their own drills.

It should also help quarterbacks, for example, to play with wide receivers with whom they have already developed a chemistry.

Hardly any incentives for top prospects: The top players mentioned at the beginning also lack valid reasons to take part in the Combine. They are traded as potential high first-round picks anyway.

A good performance at the Combine should therefore only have a minimal effect, whereas a weak performance could raise questions.

2 months ago
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