Matt Vensel is in his first year at the Star Tribune after covering the Ravens for the Baltimore Sun for six years. He is a Pittsburgh native and a Penn State grad. Follow him at @mattvensel.


Mark Craig has covered the NFL for 23 years, and the Vikings since 2003 for the Star Tribune. He is one of 44 Pro Football Hall of Fame selectors. Follow him at @markcraignfl.


Master Tesfatsion is the Star Tribune’s digital Vikings writer. He is a 2013 graduate of Arizona State and worked for mlb.com before arriving in Minneapolis. Follow him at @masterstrib.


Setting up combine week

Posted by: under Quarterbacks, Vikings, NFL draft, Adrian Peterson, Vikings draft Updated: February 21, 2010 - 1:01 PM

Rick Spielman and his staff will leave for the Scouting Combine in Indianapolis on Tuesday. Spielman, the Vikings vice president of player personnel, said the team's contingent will consist of roughly 60 people, including coaches, scouts and medical personnel.

Judd is traveling to Indy on Wednesday and will cover the event the rest of the week.

One question that comes up every year at the combine is how many players will skip certain physical testing events. Nebraska defensive tackle Ndamukong Suh, widely regarded to be the No. 1 overall pick, reportedly has said he will do every workout.

ProFootballtalk.com posted this item Sunday morning about Central Michigan quarterback Dan LeFevour, who apparently won't throw at the combine. LeFevour reportedly said he wants to throw to his own receivers during his school's pro day.

Spielman made it clear during a conversation last week that he gets annoyed when players elect not to workout at the combine if they are not injured.

"I can understand that a lot of it is you have to look at the circumstance too," he said. "But when someone from the West Coast tells you that he’s not going to run because of the time change to me he’s hiding that he can’t run.

"I just remember Adrian Peterson didn’t have any hesitation going down there and doing everything that he had to do. Then you get into some of these quarterbacks [saying] ‘Well, they’re not going to throw at the combine because they’re not familiar with the receivers.’ But sometimes you can't always blame the kid. Sometimes they’re taking advice from their counsel and their agents. You look at that too. There are agents out there who I won’t mention who have a history of not having their players do stuff at the combine so you have to take that into consideration too, which I don’t understand because they spend all this money getting them prepared for the combine and then not doing anything at the combine."
 
It seems like every draft prospect now goes to Arizona, Florida or Calfornia after their college bowl games to train at facilities focused specifically on getting them ready for the combine. They spend a lot of time working on their 40-yard times, knowing they can make -- or lose -- considerable money in the draft based on how they run at the combine.
 
"The one thing you know is that if that guy’s coming and been through all that training, that’s probably going to be his top speed," Spielman said. "Or he should be in his top physical [condition]. That’s his job interview. But to me, I know fast guys are fast, and if they’re slow, they’re slow. If you’re fast, you’re going to run fast whether you’re running in shorts out here in the middle of winter down the parking lot [at Winter Park] or running at the combine. Fast guys run fast and slow guys are slow."
 
Spielman was asked, in his experience, if more players help themselves or hurt themselves by working out at the combine.
 
"I think it’s both," he said. "If a receiver runs a 5.2 40 that’s going to hurt him because I don’t think there’s any 5.2 receivers running. But I think players help themselves a lot more than they would hurt themselves. Because if a slow receiver decides not to run at the combine and you go run him [at his pro day] and he’s slow at the campus, that even ticks you off more – I could have found that out at the combine." 

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