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New England Patriots Links 3/02/10 - NFL Scouting Combine Only One Piece To The Puzzle

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<em>Combine isn't everything.  Pats Draft picks Sebastian Vollmer and Julian Edelman weren't even invited last year.</em>
Combine isn't everything. Pats Draft picks Sebastian Vollmer and Julian Edelman weren't even invited last year.

Jon Robinson, Patriots director of college scouting, explains the value of the combine.

"This is just another piece to the puzzle," Robinson told [Patriots Today reporter Brian] Lowe. "We started looking at these guys last spring, and through their senior years this fall and it really just confirms (that) or maybe you see something in the way they move that you didn't see on the film that'll make you go back and re-evaluate the film to see that you've got the player evaluated correctly. ...

"It's exciting. It is a long process, and it's going to be even longer this year with the first round being it's own deal (standing alone on a Thursday night). So yeah, it's long, it's taxing, but it's the culmination of a year's worth of work with the scouts, with the coaches, with all of us trying to make sure we improve the football team."

Mike Reiss reminds us that the Combine isn't everything.  Pats are in it for the interviews and the physicals.

The Patriots drafted four players who weren’t invited to last year’s combine and two of them might be their best selections – offensive lineman Sebastian Vollmer (second round) and receiver Julian Edelman (seventh round). So while the team figured to make solid progress in its preparations at the combine, this remains only one piece of a much larger puzzle.

That’s really what teams like the Patriots are looking for, especially for the juniors who entered the draft. As part of the scouting process during the year, juniors are off limits, so this was the first chance for teams to meet with them. Because players are so well trained for the interviews, then the challenge becomes assessing how "real" the player actually is in those interviews.