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NFL Draft Combine doesn’t matter for Caleb Williams, Marvin Harrison Jr. Why would they work out?

The 2024 NFL Scouting Combine, or what some are describing as the world’s strangest job fair, will soon be held in Indianapolis.

But three of the top prospects in the upcoming draft may take a completely different approach to the festivities.

With the combine in full swing, this week began with the news that quarterbacks Caleb Williams and Jaden Daniels will likely be taken off the draft board within the first few picks. I’m going to skip throwing in Indianapolis. Instead, work out for your team at each pro day.

And then there’s the news that wide receiver Marvin Harrison Jr., perhaps the best non-quarterback in the draft, may skip it all. According to Albert BrierHarrison may skip both the combine and pro day and prepare to play football in the fall instead of testing in the spring.

Is this important?

As for Williams and Daniels, probably not. Looking back at the history of the NFL Scouting Combine, we’ve seen quarterbacks’ stock rise during practice in Indianapolis — last season, Anthony Jones’ stock rose during a frenetic performance at Lucas Oil Stadium. Richardson’s stock was so high that many other quarterbacks chose not to pitch in Indianapolis. He was taken out early in the draft.

Last year alone, Bryce Young chose not to pitch in Indianapolis, but still finished No. 1 overall. he is not alone. Joe Burrow and Tua Tagovailoa, who is recovering from a hip injury, both did not pitch in Indianapolis during 2020.

Burrow went No. 1 overall and Tagovailoa went No. 5 overall.

After all, Indianapolis does come with risks. The quarterback is tasked with throwing to an unfamiliar receiver on a huge stage in front of a large crowd. Fans attend the combine and Saturday’s pitching session is certainly one of the most popular attractions in Indianapolis during combine week. It’s true that pitching sessions could help, but for a quarterback already projected to go high in the draft, the risks may outweigh the potential benefits.

Additionally, skipping workouts allows players like Williams and Daniels to focus on team meetings and other parts of combine week that are important to the players: what’s happening behind the scenes.

And don’t forget, if teams want to see these players pitch, they can spend hours watching and studying game film and soon see them at Pro Days.

The more interesting story to watch is Harrison, who apparently missed not only combine training but also his pro day.according to Bria’s article published on Monday:

Marvin Harrison Jr.’s pre-draft planning is remarkable. OhioThe Biletnikoff Award-winning receiver has not hired an agent. He also did not participate in the pre-combination training that other players have prior to Indianapolis. And Harrison’s plan is to continue working out in Columbus, Ohio, especially with Buckeye strength and conditioning great Mickey Marotti, to prepare to play football in the fall rather than the 40-yard dash. All signs point to it.

All he has to do is tell NFL teams to turn on the tape. The 40 meters or how he runs the three cone drill or the on-air route probably doesn’t change how high he reaches. His great reputation as a worker and a person also gives Harrison more flexibility here. As such, one can see Harrison’s plans not as a reflection of his character, but as strictly a business decision made with the goal of having a great rookie year in mind.

The question is, “Will this approach work?”

With a player as talented as Harrison, that may certainly be the case.he Consensus top WR In draft, from the majority of the draft community Overall top 5 players. All he has done while on campus is perform at an elite level while displaying his elite traits. As a sophomore in 2022, Harrison caught 77 passes for 1,263 yards and 14 touchdowns. That season, he was at the top of the list for opposing defensive coordinators to worry about when he plays at Ohio State in 2023.

So when opposing coaches took notice of him this season, all he did was match his 2022 numbers of 67 passes caught for 1,211 yards and 14 touchdowns.

And if your team is concerned about a lack of testing data, those concerns may be misplaced. Thanks to advances in technology, teams already have the data to make informed decisions regarding Harrison, and if they want to see more of the numbers, they can just turn on the film.

If anything, Harrison’s approach is refreshing. Preparing for a test and preparing to play soccer in the fall are two different things. Harrison’s stock isn’t going to go any higher, so he doesn’t need a 40-yard dash in Indianapolis to increase his stock.

His goal is to be the WR1 on an NFL team next fall, but in his mind, his time is better spent preparing to achieve that goal.

The NFL Draft is changing, and so is how players prepare for the draft and their first NFL season. As I alluded to above, the NFL draft process is the longest and strangest job interview process in the world. Like all young people graduating from college, NFL Draft candidates are trying to do everything they can to pass interviews, land their first jobs, and be as successful as possible.

Over two years at Ohio State University, Harrison passed every job interview.

Now it’s time for him to prepare to complete the third task. It’s about doing it on your first job.

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