3 tips for Carolina Panthers fans ahead of 2024 NFL Scouting Combine

Draft season is upon us...

Jonathan Mingo
Jonathan Mingo / Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports
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Measurements and testing matter…to a point

A player’s height, weight, speed, agility, length, and wingspan are going to matter to the Carolina Panthers scouts and front-office executives. The drills will be important for each team along with a prospect's measurements.

The NFL Scouting Combine is a place for confirmation. Does this offensive tackle meet the prototypical 34-inch arm length? Is a quarterback’s hand size 10 inches or 9 inches? Is this wide receiver fast or does he offer more quickness and agility than expected?

These are the types of questions that are answered in Indianapolis. Unfortunately, prospect interviews are never made public unless the team permits it to be for a social media video of some kind. For many fans and media, the drills and measurements represent confirmations of how we view a prospect going forward.

Now, you might be wondering why a player who is listed by their respective college at a certain height and weight is listed differently during the combine. Well, colleges lie…a lot.

Marvin Harrison Jr. is currently listed at 6-foot-4 and 205 pounds. He could be shorter, taller, heavier, or lighter than his currently listed size. The measurements taken at the combine help confirm these concerns or questions. However, the stud wide receiver won't be participating after deciding to skip the event.

The same can go for drills. The 40-yard dash might matter for someone like Keon Coleman, who shows explosiveness but doesn’t display on film the extra gear to run away from defenses. A strong showing in this drill would help him tremendously and force others to go back and rewatch his tape. 

However, some drills may be redundant. Just because a player can bench press 225 pounds 30-plus times, doesn’t mean he will display elite play strength on film. A receiver may run a 4.27-second 40-yard dash, but may not have the strongest traits at their position - see John Ross in 2017.

This may force people and the teams themselves to turn the tape back on to see what they missed during their film evaluation, which leads me to my next tip.