How Much Do Private Workouts Mean?

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As a football fan first, and self anointed journalist second, I look forward to the profusion of information regarding NFL teams and the “Private Workouts” they hold for draft prospects. It titillates me to a point of no end. These tidbits give us inklings to what positions and players teams are looking at. Often times, the public equates “Private Workout” to substantial draft interest. However, is that always the case? How much do private workouts mean?

Not very much according to Jack Bechta of the National Football Post. In a recent article, “The media’s influence on the draft,” Bechta discusses smoke screens and how they correlate to the draft.

"“It’s been my experience since being in the business that NFL teams give very little clues as to who they will draft,” Bechta says. “50% of the time, my clients will be drafted by teams that did not have a private workout or a team visit. Not to say speculating isn’t fun and entertaining.”"

This insider perspective is quite interesting. Teams are allowed to hold 30 workouts with college players before the draft, and these meetings may not always be an indication of their interest. Bechta states:

"“Many teams use their allotted visits for a closer medical check, character check, and to “recruit” potential priority undrafted free agents. They also use them to send mixed messages to other teams using the media to do so. So don’t read too much into a team visit. More visits do not equate into more interest.”"

Well, I guess that says it all. A whole lot of weight cannot be placed on these visits. They are to be taken with grains of salt. Like anything else in the preparation for the NFL Draft, these workouts can be used as means of deception. I encourage you all to read the entire Jack Bechta piece. It’s very informative.