- Field Yates, ESPN Insider
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The ESPN Boston team will head out to Indianapolis on Wednesday to take in the 2013 NFL scouting combine, where each NFL team will be represented by much of its coaching and scouting staffs.
Patriots director of college scouting, Jon Robinson, will be one of the point people for the team at the event, and recently spoke with Patriots.com about the significance of the combine and this year’s draft class.
“It’s kind of the culmination of really a year’s worth of work,” he said of the combine. “It’s trying to focus in on some questions that you have from a character standpoint or a personality makeup standpoint [from a player] that you had interaction with him at the Senior Bowl, or maybe you interviewed him at the Senior Bowl and you want to spend a little more time with that player, or the East-West Shrine [game], whatever the all-star game may be.
“But it gives you another chance to sit down and actually talk to the prospect and get to know him on a personal level,” he continued. “And then from an athletic standpoint and ability standpoint, you kind of measure that relative to what you see on tape, whether that’s at their respective college or at the all-star game.”
Days will be spent both watching the players in the various physical tests, such as the bench press, 40-yard dash and three-cone drill, as well as the interviews that Robinson alluded to.
Robinson described the combine as one piece of the evaluation puzzle for the Patriots scouting staff.
“There’s a lot of pieces to the puzzle, so we have our spring work that we did this time last year on this year’s prospects, you have your fall evaluations, you have your all-star game evaluations, and then you factor in those combine evaluations and those interviews,” he said. “To add on to that is going to be the pro days, the individual pro days. You’ll kind of measure their individual athletic ability at their pro day relative to what you saw at the combine.”
A record 74 underclassmen have declared themselves eligible for the draft, something that Robinson said has boosted the overall depth of the class.
“There are several juniors that came out in this draft, I think, as a matter of fact, a record number,” he noted. “Those guys always bolster the depth. There’s a lot of defensive linemen and several offensive linemen, there’s some receivers, there’s a lot of running backs. I would say at every position group there’s depth at various portions in the draft.”
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