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Jaguars G.M. wants Combine invitees to “compete”

Gene Smith AP

Each February, a handful of NFL agents advise their clients to forgo Combine workouts because they believe the player they represent has too much to lose from running on a “slow track” in Indy, or throwing to wide receivers with whom a draft-eligible quarterback is unfamiliar.

But is it really a big deal?

To Jaguars G.M. Gene Smith, it is.

Smith told the Florida Times Union that he is discouraged by players who bypass competition, and decline to capitalize on an opportunity only 300-something individuals receive each year.

We like to see players who want to compete in an environment that puts the best against the best under the same conditions,” said Smith.

Smith did trade up for quarterback Blaine Gabbert last year after Gabbert declined to throw at the Combine.

This year, Oklahoma State wide receiver Justin Blackmon, LSU defensive tackle Michael Brockers, and South Carolina wide receiver Alshon Jeffery are expected to forgo field drills and the forty-yard dash. Georgia tight end Orson Charles only weighed in and bench pressed. Quarterbacks Robert Griffin III, Andrew Luck, and Brock Osweiler are healthy, but will not throw.

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23 Responses to “Jaguars G.M. wants Combine invitees to “compete””
  1. thejuddstir says: Feb 25, 2012 3:48 PM

    I totally agree with Smith. It’s time the NFL reminded the college players of who is in charge. If they all perform under the same conditions, there can be no better way to evaluate them. If one player runs on a fast track and the other on a slow track does that mean that one player is faster than the other? Hell no. Do these QB’s think their college teammate wr’s are going to be joining them on their pro team? Hell no. Are these players going to be playing their pro ball at their local college campuses? Hell no. It would be quite easy for the NFL to nip this crap in the bud by making it against the rules for any pro team to attend a players “Pro day workout” at their local college campus. Hell yes.

  2. jaystus says: Feb 25, 2012 3:55 PM

    Well he got that right.

  3. whoknowsnothing says: Feb 25, 2012 4:00 PM

    Why not only invite players who are going to participate? Those who are injured, bring them along so they can get checked by doctors. Or something along the lines, everyone knows the track at the combine is slow.

  4. lombardihero says: Feb 25, 2012 4:02 PM

    Good for him speaking his mind on this issue…

  5. bigdogsolec says: Feb 25, 2012 4:04 PM

    I agree, anyone can “throw,catch,block,rush” on people they know best.BUT once in the NFLtere not gonna know who there gonna be “throwing to,catching from,rushing on,defending ” year after year.Rosters change almost yearly. so if you can throw to a “differnt “reciver,catch from “differnt” qb ,block a “differnt” player.that only makes you look better, if you can’t then your proday will help show what could transpire if you know the players better ” hence LONG TIME WITH THEM “

  6. jdandcoke says: Feb 25, 2012 4:07 PM

    wow….i guess none of the aforementioned players like competing. im assuming none of them are getting drafted now.

    hey gene smith, the combine is nothing but a circus act. any gm with a clue knows who the players are long before now. its cool for us fans, but seriously….should it really matter that much to experienced nfl scouting departments?

  7. therillest says: Feb 25, 2012 4:11 PM

    Yeah because Gene’s ability to draft ALL PRO talent is undeniable….NOT!

  8. jhart615 says: Feb 25, 2012 4:12 PM

    you tell em Gene

  9. billinva says: Feb 25, 2012 4:14 PM

    Unless they are injured INVITEE’S should have to do every drill.

    If they don’t want to, there is some other guy looking for a shot at the NFL who would gladly do so.

  10. adambealyer says: Feb 25, 2012 4:23 PM

    @jdandcoke All Gene Smith is saying is that the NFL combine is like a job interview and he values players who will take advantage of every opportunity given in order to improve their resume. If anything it shows who is self-motivated and eager to use every chance he is given to show why he is the better player.

  11. selmonfan63 says: Feb 25, 2012 4:39 PM

    The combine is strictly for the convenience of the teams and for lower round draft picks. Any top tier player would be foolish to workout under less than ideal circumstances. It may make the teams mad, but the players can only hurt their ranking.

  12. afunny0 says: Feb 25, 2012 4:41 PM

    Im pretty sure every GM, wants to see players compete in everything, but too me its not that big of a deal for the players that already Know they are first rounders like Andrew Luck and Robert Griffin but for the players that are not automatic first round picks and dont do everything and it is not because of injury, then I would be a little discouraged by that.

  13. touchdownmypants says: Feb 25, 2012 4:48 PM

    I think it’s more the agents telling them not to for risk of a lower paycheck. Problem is, it makes sense for players to do this if it saves them money. They should just make it mandatory for all players or this will never change. Why would anyone ever compromise years of work for a possible bad day at the combine that costs you serious flow.

  14. therillest says: Feb 25, 2012 4:58 PM

    This from the guy who had Blaine Gabbert (whom did not throw at the combine last year) #1 on his draft board……wtf!

  15. bigblueapple says: Feb 25, 2012 5:22 PM

    I don’t understand why… At the very least if no one works out at the combine he has an excuse when he drafts his next big bust.

  16. babyhorsemorgan says: Feb 25, 2012 5:36 PM

    Not only did Gabbert not work out at the Combine, the Jags didn’t even bring him in for an interview prior to the draft. They only spent 15 minutes talking to him one on one, before they drafted him. Jax was about the only team that Blaine did not meet with. Hard to figure Smith out.

  17. babyhorsemorgan says: Feb 25, 2012 5:38 PM

    Tebow killed the Combine in 2010. Wonder where Smith was when that happened?

  18. tropboi11 says: Feb 25, 2012 5:44 PM

    The combine is only useful for the players who are not at the top of their draft class, if they do well they might get drafted ahead of where they would have but for the projected top picks it can only hurt them since the only direction is down from where they are now, their college play is all the scouts needed.

  19. kayakattack says: Feb 25, 2012 9:58 PM

    Funny, Smith may be excited to find that Justin Blackmon isn’t performing at the combine, because that may make him fall oddly enough….
    At that rate, St. Louis would be stupid to trade out of the 2nd spot, because they will lose Blackmon if they do, if not Jax than someone else.

  20. indpa67 says: Feb 25, 2012 10:04 PM

    It’s not a big deal, but Orson Charles from Georgia actually did do the position drills. He only ended up skipping the 40. The NFLN guys thought he may have been a little gimpy, but showed no signs of that during the drills.

  21. Slim Charles says: Feb 25, 2012 11:19 PM

    Total BS from Smith. The Combine is just another revenue stream for the NFL. If you want full participation, pay the players for coming.

    Also, is this his excuse for drafting Gabbert? None of the good players showed and I had to pick this clown!

  22. rollteal says: Feb 26, 2012 1:28 AM

    I understand his point. I agree but damn he does have some questionable drafting standards if I say so myself..

  23. mackie66 says: Feb 26, 2012 10:14 AM

    This combine is getting a little silly. Require a RSVP that all players will have to take part or they dont come. Simple as that. If a player is injured is one thing but to simply refuse is selfish. And its not fair to the players who were not invited. And what team needs another selfish player, theres already enough to go around.

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