All 335 players invited to the Scouting Combine have one thing in common: They’re a step closer to the NFL right now than Super Bowl MVP Malcolm Smith was at the same stage in his football career.
Smith, the Seahawks linebacker who was a seventh-round draft pick out of USC three years ago, wasn’t even invited to the Scouting Combine. And Giants defensive backs coach Peter Giunta made sure every player knew that at the end of the defensive backs’ drills.
“It is a privilege to play in the National Football League, to coach in the National Football League, to work in the National Football League,” Giunta told the players. “It doesn’t matter how you get there, as long as you get there. The Super Bowl MVP? He wasn’t invited to come here. They didn’t think he was good enough. They took him in the seventh round. He’s the Super Bowl MVP. It doesn’t matter how you get there, it’s what you do once you get there.”
What Smith did once he got to the NFL can serve as an inspiration both to the players at the Combine, and to the players who weren’t invited.