MILE HIGH MONDAY

Bo Nix can solidify his draft status this week at the Combine

Feb 26, 2024, 7:41 AM

The NFL Scouting Combine kicks off this week. I’m traveling to Indianapolis for the event, and I will be there all week long talking to players, coaches and general managers from many teams in the NFL.

I like this part of the draft process. The Combine is a huge event in the pre-draft process, and I will be gathering as much buzz about the Broncos – and every team – that I possibly can in Indy.

I also like contemplating life and sports when driving around with the top down on my old Jeep Wrangler TJ! The following is a result of those trips during the week.

Buckle up, let’s take a ride through my thoughts.

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Just Throwing it Out There

Oregon QB Bo Nix is going to throw at the Combine. There are a few players with the most to gain at the Combine, and I think Nix (or Michigan QB J.J. McCarthy) might be at the top of that list. Nix did not have a great week of practice earlier this year at the Reese’s Senior Bowl, and he’s looking for a bounce-back performance at the Combine.

Scouts and evaluators I trust still insist that Nix is a first-round pick. However, with a good Combine performance he might work his way into the top-10 of the draft. There’s plenty of film on Nix, and his “meh” performance at the Senior Bowl is not changing that evaluation. He did not take advantage of the opportunity in Mobile, and I mostly blame the practice setup for that. Now, it’s all on him to showcase the ability that everyone knows he’s got.

Throwing at the Combine is big for Nix, but his work on the whiteboard with teams will be the most important. Like McCarthy, Nix is known for being a quick study. His offense at Oregon asked him to get rid of the ball quickly with a bunch of screen passes and easy reads. That’s not going to work in the pros. Nix needs to prove he can retain complicated information and understand pre-snap looks from complex defenses. That can be done (somewhat) at the Combine this week through the interview process, the whiteboard, and the drills.

Nix is certainly an option for the Broncos in the first round of the draft. If he throws well at the Combine, there’s a chance Denver would have to move up from no.12 to select him in the first.

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Not Everyone Talks

To kick things off on Tuesday, most every NFL head coach and general manager are going to have a press conference for the media in attendance. It’s a whirlwind of activity with multiple podiums filled with coaches and executives. Media members in attendance must pick and choose who they talk to, and then they need to move into position to get in a question if so desired.

It’s become more of a trend recently where not every coach talks. That’s disappointing because you only get so many opportunities as a media member to talk to other coaches outside your market. I’m not sure if the NFL is going to make speaking at the Combine mandatory, but it’s something to consider. Even though I’m regularly in attendance for a Sean Payton press conference, I’m glad to get to talk to him again this week.

The NFL is working remote, and it’s why some teams don’t go to the Senior Bowl. At least, some teams don’t send their head coaches or general managers to that event. Just this year, the Broncos did not send GM George Paton to the Senior Bowl – and I think that’s a mistake. At the Combine, teams like the Rams will be in attendance, but HC Sean McVay is not scheduled to talk at the podium – another mistake in my opinion.

With Payton being a bit more buttoned up than previous coaches, I’m glad we’ll at least get him talking at the podium. Hopefully, there are other chances to catch him on record for some of the local media as well.

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More than the 40

Fans watching NFL Network and on social media love the 40-yard dash. We’re soon going to see Rich Eisen running through the drill for charity in an annual tradition that I personally love. I’ve done pre-draft workouts (years ago) with NFL players, and it’s much tougher than it looks. That’s why we dubbed that video, the “World’s Worst Workout.”

While the 40 gets people hyped up, it’s not the most important drill at the Combine in my humble opinion. The Combine is slammed by haters as the “underwear Olympics” and that’s not too far from the truth. I don’t think this event means everything for a prospect (it’s about five percent of their total grade) but it doesn’t mean nothing. These drills show scouts how a player works in preparation for the NFL. That’s why bad workouts can get scouts to go back and study the film even more.

This is a huge part of the player’s job interview for the NFL. Even though this is not football, there are drills that reveal football skills that translate. To me, the 3-cone drill is the most important drill we’re going to see. Moving and cutting is the name of the game, and the 3-cone drill measures how quickly players can do just that. The broad jump and vertical jump show explosion, but I want to see how a player moves when he is changing direction and staying low.

I will be monitoring the results of all the drills, and I’m sure the Broncos will be looking for more speed. Thus, the 40-yard dash could hold more weight for them when it comes to tiebreakers on player evaluations.

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Let’s Go!

Being a small business owner is a trip. This journey I’m on as the owner and co-founder of Smokin Gun Comics has been full of twists and turns. Nothing is guaranteed when you run a small business, so it comes down to a hustle game – something I love.

Last year, I thought I might have planned for too much when I wanted to get eight intellectual properties made into 8-page ashcan comic books to promote on Kickstarter. In 2023, I was able to successfully fund these projects and the artwork for all eight IPs was completed in December! This year, I planned on doing a four-issue limited series of my most popular character Suimmortal. It’s going to take a whole year to complete the 80-page story arc, but I welcomed the challenge.

I’m proud to say the artwork for the first issue is complete. As I travel to the Combine, I will be putting together the plan for issue number two (and beyond). It never fails to amaze me when I see these ideas come to life! Running a small business has made me focus even more on my goals, and with proper planning (and working through some hurdles along the way) these dreams are coming true. I think it’s something everyone should do at least once in their life, because the success of my business is on my shoulders – just the way I like it!

What are some of the dreams you’re following? Hit me up on social networking and let me know!

Mile High Monday

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