The Detroit Lions and the rest of the NFL are joyfully ready for the return of the NFL Combine.
After a COVID-mandated hiatus, the NFL Combine will return to Indianapolis this coming week. The combine is as much a gathering place for the league as it is a scouting setting, with the value of some of things done to the latter end debatable as application to football.
The NFL Combine started in 1982, and outside of a shutdown at the hands of a pandemic it has occurred every year since. In that time this meat market has served to create workout legends, and fueled more draft busts than uncovering draft steals.
This is why it is so important for Detroit Lions‘ general manager Brad Holmes and head coach Dan Campbell to pay close attention to all facets of the evaluation process.
Last year, with no combine to work with, Holmes did a masterful job of drafting a very productive class of rookies. This year, the Lions’ staff got a jump start on the draft process down at the Senior Bowl. Now, they’ll add a normal combine to the mix as the idea of a bubble in Indianapolis was quickly eliminated.
Detroit Lions general manager Brad Holmes has unearthed draft gems
As the Los Angeles Rams’ director of college scouting, Holmes helped uncover Cooper Kupp, a third-round pick out of Eastern Washington in 2017. Los Angeles’ general record of finding players beyond the first round, as they’ve not had a pick in the opening round since 2016 and won’t until 2024, bodes well for the Lions’ being able to do the same with Holmes leading the front office.
The NFL Combine has also become a spectator event for the league, and many fans will find favorite players they hope their team is able to come away with in the draft. For the Lions, it’s another piece of the evaluation tool belt heading toward late-April.