The combine grind

The NFL Combine can be a grueling few days for an NFL prospect. Between medical exams, x-rays, MRIs, dozens of team interviews and the workout, a draft prospect can get worn down. But for the scouting and coaching staffs of the NFL teams the grind is even longer.

"It's a long day," said Bills Vice President of College Scouting Tom Modrak. "The days in scouting in the fall are long, but (at the combine) it is a grind."

In most cases the day starts around 8 am and begins with workouts by position groups with the offensive linemen, tight ends and kicking game specialists first up on Thursday. That quickly rolls into interviews, which when you consider involves 32 teams and a pool of over 300 players can take some time.

"You start in the morning at eight and finish at 11 with very little time in between," Modrak said. "In no way am I complaining about it, but that's what it is."

The week at the combine differs greatly from a week on the road for a scout. Hitting four to five schools in the fall during the course of a week, the days are also long, but there's time to decompress between school campuses. That's not the case at the combine where it's one prospect after another and another.

"You're not just driving down the road after practice to your next place where you can do your reports and so on," said Modrak. "These days are particularly long and a little bit tedious because every 15 minutes you're getting another interview."

And after one 15-hour day is followed by another and another it can wear on NFL coaching and scouting staffs as much as it does the players.

At the same time they know it's essential to getting all the required information on the top prospects, particularly the juniors.

"You're still digging for a lot information on them," said Modrak of the junior eligibles. "We're still digging on seniors, but we're certainly digging on juniors a bit more, not only because of the value they may have, but because you're starting from scratch basically."

Let the grinding and digging begin.

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