Detroit Lions: Debunking NFL Scouting Combine myths
Myth #2: “Tape doesn’t lie”
Many “experts” assert that everything that you need to know about an athlete is on their tape. Their tape, referring to film of the games that they played in. If you watch the tape, you’ll see what he can and can’t do. A camera doesn’t lie.
Again, I’m sure most of what a team may need to know comes from their college tape. However, there are countless reasons why tape may be deceptive or an incomplete source of information.
For one thing, the scheme that a prospect played in during college may limit the usefulness of the tape. If his college scheme did not ask him to perform the same tasks as what his new NFL scheme will, that is an issue.
Another problem is that the scheme featured too many or not enough athletes around a player. For instance, at Alabama, you may not ever see a player’s deficiencies due to the high quality of the others around him.
Whereas, at a smaller school an athlete might be asked to do too much because he is the only great talent on the roster. In fact, this can lead to players playing out of position, which creates evaluation problems, too.
Lastly, what about athletes who committed to schools whose systems did not fit their talent? Not to mention coaching changes, which can also switch systems to ones that do not fit an athlete.
Why it matters
Individual drills take the scheme out of the equation. The Lions need to see these athletes in person, see them perform, and have a chance to get up close. It’s a competitive environment and a chance to, at very least, verify what you saw on film.
For some prospects, the combine is a chance to star when they did not get adequate opportunities during their college careers for any number of reasons.