The NFL Scouting Combine might not be the most accurate indication of a players’ ability. Game tape will always take precedence when evaluating talent. But that’s not to say the event doesn’t give teams a unique understanding of a particular player, with conclusive information that can’t otherwise be found through the university.
Take, for example, medical records.
Kevin Demoff and Mark Dominik – Photo by: Cliff Welch/PR
Former Bucs general manager and current ESPN analyst Mark Dominik talked about the importance of physicals at the Combine, calling the process one of the two most revealing aspects at the Indy event.
“It’s just so hard to get that information from the colleges,” Dominik told PewterReport.com on Thursday. “It’s so protected because (schools) have to be sensitive about what they can and can’t say.
“The reality is, a physical is a physical. Depending on how good your doctors are, they can hopefully uncover a lot of things that maybe you were unsure of or something that the player hasn’t disclosed due to a doctor paying close attention.”
Depending on what the doctor finds out can greatly alter a team’s plan and even take a player completely off the board, though that’s only in rare cases. A first-round talent, Dominik explained, can be hard to pass up on in the middle rounds, even if he’s deemed a “one-contract player” because of a medical condition.
Sometimes a medical scare is warranted, like with Marcus Lattimore and D.J. Hayden in recent years. Other times it proves to be insignificant, and teams end up getting a steal later in the draft, such as the case in Dominik’s example from 2010.
“I’ll never forget (Rob) Gronkowski got bumped way down our board because he had such a bad back,” Dominik recalled. “That’s why he went so deep into the second round. But it’s turned out to be a phenomenal draft pick, and it goes back to you needing to weigh and measure everything out. Those are the decisions you end up making.”
Along with accurate medical records, the other main advantage at the Combine is the personal time with players. While Dominik said the 15-minute interview isn’t always the most telling thing – players are often just as prepared as teams – it’s still a great opportunity to learn more about them as a person.
“Even though we have a lot of those 60 minute combine interviews in the big room – the speed dating to some extent – you can still unarm them or create a situation where you say, ‘I really like this guy’, or ‘This is a good kid, I think he’ll be a good fit.’ Or maybe, ‘I didn’t feel great about it,’” Dominik said. “It’s all about setting up the questions, maybe even to answers that you already know, but to see what he’s going to say and how he’s going to say it.”
So while position drills and 40-times can change teams’ opinions of players and move them up and down draft boards, the two unique advantages that begin at the NFL Combine are the information gathered from physicals and the personal sit-downs.
“It’s character and it’s medical,” Dominik said. “Those are the two things you can pull out of this that you can’t get on tape.”
Zach is entering his 3rd year covering the Tampa Bay Buccaneers as a writer for PewterReport.com. Since 2014, he's handled a large part of the beat reporting responsibilities at PR, attending all media gatherings and publishing and promoting content daily. Zach is a native of Sarasota, FL, and a graduate of the University of Tampa. He has also covered high school football for the Tampa Tribune and the NFL for Pro Player Insiders.
Contact him at: firstname.lastname@example.org
Guess Dominik pulled the medical on brian price and gaines adams too, right?
domidork is terrible why is he always on here he helped ruin the franchise, so glad he is gone and the bucs have a real gm, licht has already hit on more draft picks in two years than dork did in his whole career, and i also dont see dork working as a gm no more
Listening to Mark Dominik talk about his process of selecting players in the draft is like listening to William Hung talk about his singing technique. Amusing, but irrelevant.
Agreed with those above. This guy is just clueless and he proves it every time he opens his mouth. He doesn’t even realize he calls out his own stupidity every time he speaks. God he was terrible.
Listening to Mark Dominick talk about the draft is like listening to Donald Trump talk about what a great businessman he is.
Unfortunately for Domiinck, his acumen in the draft was put on public display every Sunday for 16 weeks. It wasn’t pretty.
Certainly no one was looking at the medical report or giving a physical to Carl Nicks.
Dude plays 7 or 8 games and then goes out forever with a turf tow, an injury particularly related to playing on artificial surf, i.e. the New Orleans Superdome.
Don’t ever expect to see Dominick in an NFL front office again.
He’s better suited to hustle Amway.
That might’ve been the most frustrating injury this team was ever a part of. Dude got PAID for 7 games worth of work. Classic Dumanick.
More wisdom from the guy who drafted Mark Barron over Luke Kuechly. And Brain Price… smh
Funny to think how Dominik talks about how the Bucs really dropped Rob Gronkowski under his watch due to medicals. But in the very same 2010 NFL draft, took Brian Price and his congenitally deformed pelvis which required his hamstrings to be reattached to his legs over him in the 2nd round. Oh Dominik, you never cease to amaze me.
I can’t wait for the PR Bruce Allen interview next! How does Dominick still have a job at the NFL Network? Why are we still listening to his sage advice? I bet the Bucs would have been better off with a monkey throwing darts at a draft board in the last decade over trusting Allen & Dominick.
U r so right “e”. Both GM’s looked great in a Brooks Brothers suit but couldn’t judge football talent worth a damn.
They also both sported immaculate haircuts as well. Always well coiffed.
I love that we’ve gone from them to Meathead… So much more Buc like…
some great lines in this comment section lol
Do we care what this guy even says?
My goodness this reads like the meeting minutes of the Mark Dominik Haters Club. He certainly made his share of mistakes, but he also hit on a few too. Maybe it’s that blind squirrel stumbling upon an acorn thing. I do find it amusing that Mark points out the medical factor that apparently he ignored when selecting the aforementioned infirmary squad. Wasn’t he the one who declared, “We know knees”?
Those who can’t draft….commentate
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