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Nick Saban has ideas to change the NFL Scouting Combine

Alabama head coach Nick Saban has some ideas on how to change the NFL Scouting Combine experience that he believes would help prevent the growing trend of underclassmen declaring early for the NFL Draft. Saban thinks making the combine a more exclusive opportunity is one way to go. Another idea Saban thinks might work would be allowing players to participate in a combine event before players have to declare for the NFL Draft, allowing players to get a sense of where they really stand before making the decision to go pro or return to school.

“More guys go down at the combine than go up, because they’re not as fast,” Saban said in an interview on SiriusXM NFL radio“And they don’t have a very good feel in comparison to all the other competition in the draft at their position. And when they come to that realization, it’s too late, the way we do it now. More guys go down at the Combine than go up because they’re not as fast and they don’t have a very good feel in comparison to all the other competition in the draft at their position. When they come to that realization, it’s too late.”

As noted by AL.com, this year’s NFL Scouting Combine invited 355 players with hopes of making it in the NFL, but only 254 players were drafted in the 2013 NFL Draft. This year a record number of underclassmen declared early for the NFL Draft, with 98 players choosing to skip their senior seasons.

One of the biggest reasons for more players choosing to leave school early for the NFL is the impact of the most recent collective bargaining agreement ut in place in the NFL. For players to cash in on bigger paydays for a longer period of time, they need to start their NFL careers as soon as possible. Some players are worthy of the NFL right now, but a growing number of players may actually be making a poor decision to leave early, perhaps due to an agent leading them to believe this is the best move in the long term.

Saban has been outspoken about keeping agents away from college football, so his views on how to change the combine should not be too surprising. In fact, he may actually have a good idea with having some sort of combine event before players have to declare early, and you would think there would be a way to make something like this possible that would comply with NCAA rules. A mini combine or a series of mini combines in January, after the bowls, could help players get a real feel for whether or not declaring early is the right choice or not.

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41 Responses to “Nick Saban has ideas to change the NFL Scouting Combine”
  1. eastcoastniner says: Mar 21, 2014 11:46 AM

    @$#!@#$ off Saban. He already gets the best talent in the country year-after-year. Now he wants to force them to stay on the team longer than they want.

    Maybe next he can work on changing the hurry-up offense rules to benefit his bloated team

    Oh wait…..

  2. wolfman55h says: Mar 21, 2014 11:55 AM

    First he wants to rewrite the rules of college football now he wants to be NFL commissioner, Coach ‘Rumpelstilskin’ at Alabama must either be very confident about his upcoming season or just bored playing the weak ass conference schedule he browbeats the SEC into letting him get away with every season because lately he seems intent on taking on loftier issues. You want to clean up the current mess that is college football? Cut out the nauseating hypocrisy that is in place and have each NFL team create a two tier farm system. This works two- fold. First, the league gets complete control of its talent pool. Second, universities can at least try to return to the days of a system of legitimate student-athletes. What’s developing now at the college level are prima donnas who once they have pro scouts convinced they can play, quit on their program to avoid injury ( ie Clowney). This change wouldn’t affect college football at all. Fans and alumni would still follow their schools. The only difference is the kids they are watching would actually be students who really want to be in school.

  3. normtide says: Mar 21, 2014 11:55 AM

    Yea east coast. Saban’s bloated teams have never actually won anything. Funny how an 11-2 season means you suck. Your just another jealous fan.

    The idea is sound. Many of these players declare and don’t get drafted.

  4. eastcoastniner says: Mar 21, 2014 12:00 PM

    Yea normtide, he already gets Top 2 recruiting classes every year but wants that top-talent longer. Sounds greedy to me.

    Explain the push for the hurry-up rule change…..

  5. wolfman55h says: Mar 21, 2014 12:06 PM

    One more, I bet nick really makes a lot of friends at the Bama pro day walking around telling scouts about his brilliant ideas when in reality he fell fat on his face coaching the Dolphins. I hear one time at practice Daunte Culpepper told him to F off and walked off the field. That bully style b s might still scare some college kids who can’t afford a hamburger but it doesn’t fly so well in locker rooms with players who make three times your salary does it?

  6. eastcoastniner says: Mar 21, 2014 12:08 PM

    Remember wolfman, they chose Daunte OVER Brees. How’d that work out for them.

  7. wolfman55h says: Mar 21, 2014 12:12 PM

    Lol exactly east coast the Gumps at Bama should send Culpepper complimentary champagne every season because he’s the reason Nicky hauled freight out of the Everglades to find refuge in the tropical paradise of…. Tuscaloosa?? Lmao

  8. jpiro says: Mar 21, 2014 1:46 PM

    Having a combine before players hire an agent or go pro would just be an extension of the NFL evaluations they’re allowed to request while still in college and it’s a good idea overall.

    Saban is a bit of a dick, but he’s right here. Too many kids declare based on bad info and then end up stuck in limbo without an option to return to school.

  9. rolltide510 says: Mar 21, 2014 1:51 PM

    Every time the coach of my school says anything, its considered news worthy. A two-loss season gets framed as “the end of a dynasty”.

    Meanwhile, nobody gives a damn about anything the coaches of the 7-5 loser schools the whiners here pull for say, or the teams themselves. Only winners get attention.

    Seriously folks, remind us poor gumps about Saban’s time in Miami some more — it REALLY hurts, trust me.

  10. raysfan1 says: Mar 21, 2014 1:54 PM

    Does anyone wish to discuss the merits of this idea, or will it just be derided simply because it was Saban who came up with it?

    The assertion above that this is an attempt to force players to stay in school is nuts. Having the combine or something like it prior to when underclass men have to decide whether to declare for the draft would simply serve to give the players more information to use in deciding whether to enter the draft early. How is that a bad thing?

  11. cameron poe says: Mar 21, 2014 2:04 PM

    I agree raysfan. Giving athletes another way to be evaluated before they make the life changing decision to enter the NFL is not a bad thing. Too many kids these days are getting bad information and entering the draft too early. The NFL even acknowledged this problem when they changed the rules for the first contracts players are getting. Too many teams were losing money on busts so the rules were changed. How will kids getting more information (hopefully reliable) on where they would stand in the current draft class and among current NFL players be a bad thing?

    If players can lose their eligibility at the drop of a hat, they should be given all available information to make that decision.

    I think some of the first posters might’ve been blinded by some senseless rage and poor reading comprehension skills.

  12. noleitup says: Mar 21, 2014 2:17 PM

    I dont really get behind saban a when it comes to rules and regulations but hes got a point

  13. Deb says: Mar 21, 2014 2:21 PM

    eastcoastniner, do you work at being ignorant, or does it come naturally?

    First, Saban didn’t come up with the rule to slow down the hurry-up offense. He was asked repeatedly to address the proposed rule, and finally agreed to do so. It wasn’t his baby.

    Second, Saban doesn’t personally profit if these kids wait to declare. As others have pointed out, he’s already got the top recruiting classes and can only have so many players on the team. So it doesn’t benefit him to keep players around longer.

    Since Saban came to Alabama, the number of college graduates on the football team has increased significantly, as has the number of Bama players drafted into the pros. Bama players have a reputation among NFL scouts as being league-ready. To simplify for the colossally dimwitted, Saban is trying to do what’s best for the players and their futures. It’s not going to help or hurt the Alabama program one way or another.

  14. footballnut85 says: Mar 21, 2014 2:47 PM

    Not a Saban fan but this idea is valid. Let a kid find out how good he really is against the best without hurting his eligibility.

  15. dreamer5873 says: Mar 21, 2014 2:57 PM

    Makes sense to me what Saban is saying. The NFL don’t give a crap about a guy who should have stayed. They just get the kid at a cheaper price. Hey it’s a meat market man these kids make some poor choices. Just imagine what college football would look like if the players had to attend four years before trying their luck in the NFL.

  16. eastcoastniner says: Mar 21, 2014 3:13 PM

    Deb,

    blah blah blah. Saban good. Everyone stupid. Is the gist of your post.

    Blow out the candles around the Saban shrine in your bedroom and take an objective look at your coach. He’s a bit of a weasel…..a very successful weasel.

  17. rolltide510 says: Mar 21, 2014 3:22 PM

    “eastcoastniner says:
    Mar 21, 2014 3:13 PM
    Deb,

    blah blah blah. Saban good. Everyone stupid. Is the gist of your post.

    Blow out the candles around the Saban shrine in your bedroom and take an objective look at your coach. He’s a bit of a weasel…..a very successful weasel.”

    I’d like to hear more about the crappy team you watch on Saturdays and what a great guy the coach is.

    Funny how at every level of football, coaches who win are invariably “bad people”, where the losers have hearts of gold.

  18. eastcoastniner says: Mar 21, 2014 3:31 PM

    never said he was a bad person. Just weasel-y and greedy.

    If you think he is doing this for the welfare of the students you are naive.

    Bama has a very successful program by getting top talent who run off to the NFL as soon as they can (because they’re top talent). If can put any roadblocks (though minor) it helps his program.

  19. cybersqueak says: Mar 21, 2014 3:32 PM

    If the NFL was concerned about the future of these kids, then they wouldn’t allow underclassmen to participate in the combine.

  20. imaduffer says: Mar 21, 2014 3:32 PM

    How about you can’t play in the NFL until you graduate from college. That way Coach Saban can have some of his players for seven or eight years.

  21. rolltide510 says: Mar 21, 2014 3:44 PM

    “imaduffer says:
    Mar 21, 2014 3:32 PM
    How about you can’t play in the NFL until you graduate from college. That way Coach Saban can have some of his players for seven or eight years.”

    Right, Bo Jackson probably could have learned to read given 8 years. Not Kenny Irons though, some things just aren’t meant to be.

  22. rolltide510 says: Mar 21, 2014 4:01 PM

    “eastcoastniner says:
    Mar 21, 2014 3:31 PM
    never said he was a bad person. Just weasel-y and greedy.

    If you think he is doing this for the welfare of the students you are naive.

    Bama has a very successful program by getting top talent who run off to the NFL as soon as they can (because they’re top talent). If can put any roadblocks (though minor) it helps his program.”

    No. What helps his program is having juniors leave to become first round draft picks, and having blue chip high school recruits notice this and come to Alabama to repeat their success.

    Do you think there’s a big problem at Alabama where people are leaving early to be third day picks and Saban is selfishly trying to prevent this? I’ll help you — there’s not.

  23. eastcoastniner says: Mar 21, 2014 4:40 PM

    Rolltide,

    The few who become 1st rounders would go pro regardless. What about the kids right after them. You’re damn right he’s trying to stop RS SO’s and JR’s from making the jump. Talent pool increases and he can field a better team and cut mediocre players.

  24. amosalanzostagg says: Mar 21, 2014 5:11 PM

    Deb,

    Remember it was Nick Saban and Bret Bieliema asked to meet with the NCAA Committee on Player Safety. Neither were there in an official capacity.
    They were lobbying the committee to push through
    the 10 second defensive pause as a brake against the HUNH offense. Nick was wrong then.

    The way you beat the HUNH offense is no different than developing defensive schemes to defeat the wishbone, the veer, the run and shoot and the spread offense. You condition the hell out of your team and learn to give up strength for quickness and speed on defense. You also beat the hell out of the receivers, the backs and the QB on every play.

    Nick’s proposal for an evaluation of a player’s draft position is the same as the NBA’s evaluation of
    college and junior college players who want to see where they would go in a draft. It has merit.

    The only way to stop kids leaving early would be for the NFL to say they would only take red shirt
    juniors and seniors who have GRADUATED from
    their respective schools.

    RTR

  25. rolltide510 says: Mar 21, 2014 6:17 PM

    “eastcoastniner says:
    Mar 21, 2014 4:40 PM
    Rolltide,

    The few who become 1st rounders would go pro regardless. What about the kids right after them. You’re damn right he’s trying to stop RS SO’s and JR’s from making the jump. Talent pool increases and he can field a better team and cut mediocre players.”

    WTF are you talking about? Saban tells third year players who will be drafted high to go pro. He tells players who want to declare early that are projected in low they should stay. You know, LIKE EVERY COACH DOES.

    You really think he’s telling Julio Jones he needs to stick around for his senior year because he’s worried he’ll lose games?

  26. normtide says: Mar 21, 2014 8:49 PM

    Bama and Saban can actually win the big game. Same can’t be said for the niners or fish. He seems to keep you two up at night as well.

    The talent he gets CHOOSES to come to Bama. That destroys your argument. Also, this idea doesn’t keep anyone from turning pro. It just gives them a better idea if they should or not. And, it wouldn’t pertain to Bama players only. Your disdain for it stems only from your jealously of his success.

    Meanwhile, SF has become the Bills. Always the bridesmaid, never the bride.

  27. normtide says: Mar 21, 2014 9:01 PM

    Deb and rolltide, he’s just another sad fan tired of Bama’s success. This idea isn’t a roadblock. The decision to leave wouldn’t be impeded. In fact, he hasn’t used a single fact. I don’t mind debate, but can only laugh at grade school arguments. He cries because we land recruits. As for wolfman, that dude has become so paranoid of Alabama it’s funny. I know he has nightmares of crimson. I enjoy it.

    I totally understand the Bama fatigue, I do. I felt the same way about Miami and USC in years back. I never made excuses though. I respected what they was able to do. Even with OSU, even though they didn’t really finish those years, they did walk the floor with most teams. I wanted them to lose, I didn’t disrespect what they accomplished. There is a difference. Hell, people still try to discredit what Nebraska did in the 90′s. Greatness is what it is. Because you didn’t like it doesn’t change a single fact about it.

  28. suprmous says: Mar 21, 2014 11:11 PM

    Is there any topic within football Saban feels that doesn’t deserve his input? Seems to me that he’s the only HC that goes out of his way to keep his nose in the mix and stirrin the pot where he should be concentratin on the position he was hired to do at Bama. Maybe I’m wrong but to me it’s like havin a dentist goin in and routinely deliverin babies. Maybe that’s not the best example but any who’s and what’s it, if I’m not mistaken his job is at Bama and to coach there and not stick his nose elsewhere. Then again, if it results in havin his foot in his mouth quite a bit maybe he’ll get the message. That is unless he’s had shots to make him immune to the germs from his case of Hoof in Mouth Disease. All of this just sayin. Let the crucifyin begin.

  29. dhardy8207 says: Mar 22, 2014 9:12 AM

    I’ll make two points here and anyone is welcome to agree or disagree as this is still a free world.

    First, his point about players not being ready for the NFL even though at the college level they’ve been in the top of the ranks; I’ll merely give you Tim Tebow. Dominant QB in the SEC, Heisman winner and two time Heisman nominee. Had great numbers passing, running and completion. Was he ready for the NFL? NO.

    Secondly, for those here who want to insinuate that Saban is trying to tell the NFL or the players how to conduct their futures; BAMA hosted representatives of 32 NFL teams on their pro day and Saban rolled out the red carpet for them. That being said, I think he pretty much gets the respect of the NFL teams management to generate quality players coming in.

    Lastly, Saban doesn’t seek out interviews on radio or TV. When you’ve won as many championships as he has, these media outlets seek him out for his opinion on things. That is not “sticking his nose in the mix”, not a case of “hoof in mouth disease”, and know that his success at BAMA shows that his main priority is the job he is paid to do.

  30. wolfman55h says: Mar 22, 2014 10:07 AM

    Mr. Roll tide, put on the one shoe you found at the gas station put your teeth in, thank your sister for a lovely evening and listen. Our comments about Sabans ‘career’ (?) at Miami is no reflection on his ability at the college level. Hes phenomenal. Hes a lieing gutless hypocrite, but so are most college coaches.We gave him his career at LSU. My point above is if there is anyone who should keep their mouth shut about how the NFL should run its operation it’s the guy who washed out there as a head coach, alienated every individual in the franchise he worked for, not to mention pissed off every other owner for the way he lied and walked out on the Dolphins. I know you Gumps think he was one of the three wise men, but none of us is without fault, not even Coach Satan, uh Saban.

  31. wolfman55h says: Mar 22, 2014 10:12 AM

    Do you assholes at Bama know how close he was to leaving for Austin? I know from two people who work in UT administration who know the paperwork was done. Saban got pissed because of the way the Horns were dragging their heels. Too many chefs in the kitchen. When you cheering Saban this year, don’t appreciate his ‘loyalty’ —he has none. Be grateful for Texas arrogance.

  32. justalonewolf says: Mar 22, 2014 10:38 AM

    eastcoastniner: N Saban chose Culpepper over Brees, remember eastcoast, Saban was not only coach at the time but also GM as well…his bad decisions stankup the entire team, front office, and the fan base!

  33. mcmccii says: Mar 22, 2014 10:49 AM

    Why is anyone surprised? This is what powerful men do. They attempt to bend the rules at every point so that things are more in their favor.
    One sees it in every aspect of life, from business to politics.

  34. normtide says: Mar 22, 2014 10:58 AM

    I’m calling man-crush. Wolfman is infatuated with Saban. Sit on a bucket of ice, my friend. Also, I doubt anyone believes you have inside info. Every poster here claims to have a man on the inside. Dude, you have a great coach, get behind him. Stop getting flush over Saban. Or at least keep it in your pants. Bama and LSU are probably the best looking overall programs going forward in the SEC. You can be a fan of your own team and coach.

    Super, here’s to a speedy recovery. I’m thinking nothing will keep you down for long, Mon Cher.

  35. suprmous says: Mar 22, 2014 4:01 PM

    Thanks for the wishes Mon Cher. I’m hopin it’ll be speedy as well, got my own reasons; can’t come quick enuff for me. And on us bein part of the best lookin overall programs …. thanks on that as well. So many will and would argue but numbers and stats don’t lie. Hope both of our programs have success this year, tho I’m sittin in the catbird seat. K, time to go rest the hand again. Take care and see ya later. Again thanks for the wishes.

  36. amosalanzostagg says: Mar 23, 2014 12:48 PM

    Wolfman,

    Laughable lies.

    First lie, Saban was going to Austin,

    Second lie, UT Administration has NOTHING to do with the UT Athletic Department, Texas Athletics is separate from the University, it is it’s own BUSINESS entity, away from University oversight and the Athletic Director REPORTS to the school President and to the University Chancellor on a as needed basis.

    Third lie, mid level administrators in a University
    do not handle sensitive “paperwork” in ANY
    negotiated contract of ANY Texas Athletic Department coach, administrator or employee.
    Texas has outside legal counsel on retainer to handle confidential and sensitive negotiations,
    settlements or lawsuits.

    Quit lying, Saban stayed at Alabama because the has the program going the way he wants it and Saban never entertained ANY prospect of moving.
    It was fabricated by Orangebloods and Texas blogs
    as wishful thinking on the Longhorns part.

    Come back when you rid yourself of Saban envy.

    RTR.

  37. amosalanzostagg says: Mar 23, 2014 1:03 PM

    Just a lone wolf,

    just some ACTUAL facts

    (1.)Randy Mueller will be surprised that he wasn’t GM of the Dolphins while Saban was coach there.

    (2.) Brees himself said Saban wanted him.
    From the Daily Dolphin

    “Brees, speaking with Dolphins reporters in advance of Monday’s game against the Saints, said that Dolphins trainers told then-Coach Nick Saban that they thought it was unlikely he could resume his career after injuring his shoulder in the final game of the 2005 season when he was with San Diego.

    “I do remember him saying their doctors felt I had a 25 percent chance of coming back and playing,” Brees said.

    Brees said “I do believe I was (Miami’s) first choice” but that there “are no hard feelings.”

    Brees’ comments came less than a year after Saban, now the head coach at Alabama, told Dan Le Batard of 790 The Ticket that he had first made an offer to Brees but that Brees failed a physical with Miami.

    Culpepper had damaged three knee ligaments the year before the Dolphins signed him. He suffered through one injury plagued season in Miami and only played in four games.

    Brees went on to play in six Pro Bowls with New Orleans and led the Saints to the Super Bowl XLIV championship.

    Only now does it appear that the Dolphins have found a franchise quarterback in Ryan Tannehill.

    “Everything happened the way it was supposed to,” Brees said. “I don’t think about it for a second, I really don’t. Obviously Coach Saban has gone on and probably would not trade his career path for anything either.”

    Actual Facts are pesky items.

    RTR

  38. amosalanzostagg says: Mar 23, 2014 1:08 PM

    suprmous.

    same here, best wishes and a speedy recovery.

    RTR

  39. dhardy8207 says: Mar 23, 2014 5:05 PM

    Normtide says;

    “Also, I doubt anyone believes you have inside info. Every poster here claims to have a man on the inside.”
    ———————————————————
    Amazing how with all this “inside knowledge”, “Leaks”, “tips” that none of them knew Charlie Strong would become the head coach isn’t it…lol…

  40. normtide says: Mar 23, 2014 10:15 PM

    I’m sure there are some with decent information. But way to many that say that are full of crap. So, I make a rule to treat it all as crap. The simple moral, if you have inside info, send it to a reporter. Don’t be that guy that uses it in a post reply on a blog.

  41. suprmous says: Mar 24, 2014 1:24 PM

    amosalanzostagg, thanks for your wishes as well. Seems funny to hear it comin from, you, the one who took my head off a couple of times;hahaha. I must admit it feels good tho to know I’m not always crucifyed.

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