The Falcons are wrapping up their 30 pre-draft visits this week and should finish early next week with the draft set for Thursday through Saturday.
Former NFL general manager Bill Polian gave some insight into the value of the visits. Teams generally bring players in for medical testing, educational testing or to complete their physical exams.
“It’s not always this guy is going here because they are interested in taking him or trading for him,” Polian said on Sirius XM NFL Radio on Tuesday. “It’s much more mundane that that.”
Teams normally want to follow up on medical issues.
“You want to see the X-rays, get your hands on them,” Polian said. “You want to let the (doctors) manipulate him and give him an MRI if necessary so that you have a fully accurate picture of what you are getting from a physical standpoint and how he’s long he’s going to be out and so forth.”
Teams also want of see how some players digest information.
“If you have issues relative to a player’s ability to process or relative to his psychological test where the psychologist will want to sit down with him again and go in-depth with him on a subject or two,” Polian said. “Or, he or she may want to re-test him with terms to processing.
“For example, there are players who don’t read very well. As a result, they don’t do well on the standardized test. So, every team now has a psychological test that employs other means of (testing how) well guys process, and that’s one reason why you might bring him in.”
Teams may also want to test players’ football intelligence.
“In the case of a quarterback, you might want to put him on the chalk board and spend three, four or five hours with him going over the offense in depth so that you get an idea of how well he processes information,” Polian said.
Polian said teams will steer away from drafting players that they don’t have physical exams for.
“Then the third reason would be if he’s a person that you need a physical exam on,” Polian said. “I think in all of our years in Indianapolis, which totaled 14, I think we took two players without a physical, and they were both very low in the draft. Our owner was very uncomfortable taking a player without a physical.”
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