The New England Patriots signed former Missouri wide receiver T.J. Moe as an undrafted free agent in 2013. Unfortunately, his career was derailed after tearing an ACL in the offseason, but he has become one of the more insightful football analysts on the television circuit.
Moe just published an article titled "An Inside Look at the NFL Scouting Combine" and it's pretty great. He covers physical tests, psychological analysis, and some pretty interesting firsthand experiences.
"In each room," Moe shares. "There was one doctor who was in charge of presenting the player to the group. He had a folder with all of the results from the tests that were administered during Day One, and the doctor would read the results out loud as he would feel the stability of joints and past injuries.
"It really was fascinating to witness. One interesting thing was that the Patriots' doctor didn't take anyone's word for anything. After the lead doctor finished presenting a player to the group, the Patriots' doctor examined every player. A lot of the doctors would do that with individual players, but not every one. The Patriots are the most thorough team in the league, which may be why they are in the Super Bowl hunt every season."
I'm going to guess this is why the Patriots are more willing to take risks on injured players than almost any other in the draft. Some pan out, some don't, but at least the Patriots are relying on first hand information from their own doctors.
Moe also explains what happens in team interviews, which I personally think is awesome information (emphasis added).
"I met with almost every team while I was there," Moe offers. "And most of the informal interviews were the same. You'd meet with a position coach or coordinator, and he would ask you a series of questions: Have you ever played special teams? Are you willing to play special teams? What was your offensive philosophy in college? Draw up a few plays for me and show me what everyone does. What would you do against cover 2, cover 3, man-to-man, cover 5, etc.?
"Then they would test to see if you could pick up their offense in some way by showing you three plays, then asking you to draw them just like they did against different coverages. Another interesting Patriots fact: They were the only team that told me not to tell any other team that they interviewed me."
That's awesome. I love the fact that the Patriots give the easiest, and somehow the most difficult, test to the players. You spill the beans, you're undraftable. Simple enough. If you hear that Bill Belichick sat down with a prospect, you can throw the player, their agent, and the agent's other players off the big board.