The Brandon Thomas ACL tear could prompt some agents to draw a line over private workouts, especially with two extra weeks until the draft and no limit on the number of on-campus running and catching and cutting and other activities sessions.
Some teams may understand the reluctance to engage in so much pre-draft activity with no compensation or protection, other than insurance the player buys on his own. As one scout with many years of service told PFT earlier today, “If I were an agent I would never let teams do workouts.”
It’s not just the agents that have concerns. For teams, the proliferation of private workouts calls into question the accuracy of the medical information obtained at the Scouting Combine.
“Ridiculous,” one high-level scout told PFT regarding the extra private workouts that will occur because of the 14-day postponement of the draft. “You fear what kind of condition these players will be in when you draft them. The Combine is at the end of February and now the draft is in mid-May. It gives them 10 weeks or so to injure or beat themselves up for 32 teams. It kind of makes the Combine physical obsolete. Which is the main purpose of the Combine.”
If that’s the way teams feel, teams need to make their views known — and teams need to propose rule changes that would limit the number of on-campus workouts or apply a deadline for working out incoming rookies.
Or maybe players should refuse to engage in private workouts. For a guy whose stock can only go down (especially if he gets injured), what’s wrong with refusing to risk injury without compensation or protection? Sure, most of the media would wag a finger at anyone who spurns the warped notion of “competition” that goes along with working out at the Scouting Combine or elsewhere, but only because most of the media wants to milk the pre-draft cow until dust comes out of the udder.
We look forward to the day when a player who is regarded based on his playing career to be one of the top picks drops the mic and walks off the stage, refusing to workout at the Scouting Combine, the Pro Day, or anywhere else.
Brandon Thomas surely wishes he had. For different reasons, Teddy Bridgewater probably wishes he had, too.