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Most players don’t do every Combine workout, and many don’t do any

Players are increasingly recognizing that if they don’t think the workouts at the Scouting Combine are going to raise their draft stock, they’re free to skip them.

This year, the NFL invited 321 players to the Scouting Combine. Barring some type of emergency, players who are invited always show up to meet with teams, and they almost always do the requisite medical testing (although this year USC’s Caleb Williams was a notable exception) and the media appearances (although this year Ohio State’s Marvin Harrison Jr. did not).

But when it comes to the Combine workouts that fans tune in for and were once viewed as the signature portion of the event, that just isn’t as big a draw for players anymore. Notably, the two agility tests and the bench press are skipped by the vast majority of Combine participants.

Of the 321 players invited, here’s how many did each of the six Combine tests:

230 did the vertical.
222 did the broad jump.
220 did the 40-yard dash.
89 did the shuttle.
77 did the three-cone drill.
72 did the bench press.

For prospective players, it really doesn’t make sense to work out unless you’re confident you’re going to raise your draft stock. If you’re Xavier Worthy, and you know you’re capable of running a 4.21-second 40-yard dash, by all means, do so in a forum where personnel evaluators from all 32 teams are present. But if you don’t think the Combine testing is going to add anything to your college football tape, why risk seeing your draft stock fall?

It won’t be surprising if increasing numbers of players sit out the Combine in future years. And it also won’t be surprising if the player tracking data that’s collected both at the Combine, and on the field in both the NFL and in college, eventually proves to make Combine workouts superfluous.