Because the Scouting Combine was wedged up against the start of free agency, the football media never got much of a chance to develop the various stories about the wide range of odd questions and experiences players endure at the Scouting Combine.
On Tuesday’s PFT Live, former Miami tight end David Njoku told a humorous — and bizarre — story from his time in Indianapolis.
Njoku said that, when he walked into the room to meet with one specific team, the head coach and scouts declined to shake his hand. And then they glared at him for a while before someone asked this question: Where does the sun rise, and where does it set?
It would be a weird moment for an adult. It’s even weirder to think that a young man who is still only 20 had to deal with that situation.
Yes, it’s a multi-month job interview. But what other industry entails the kind of goofball tactics and insulting inquiries that football players endure? From questions about their sexuality to their family members, football teams seem to think that the stress inherent to playing football justifies creating stressful situations during job interviews.
Plenty of other jobs are stressful, and they entail consequences far more dire than a team winning a game. But surgeons and lawyers and other jobs that require calm-headed decision-making with high stakes on the line don’t include the kind of weirdness that routinely occurs when NFL teams are trying to get to know more about their players.
It’s one of the benefits of a draft. If the players could choose their pro teams the same way they choose their colleges (and the same way surgeons and lawyers select employment), coaches and scouts would have no choice but to be a little more friendly and civil, because the players would have the power to choose a different employer.