Answers could have big impact on NFL draft stock
Even today, Polian is skeptical that teams will get the answers needed to make the right choices.
"I wouldn't put any stock into the answers they give you. You know it's spin. I'm not saying they're not being truthful, but you have to go through it and figure it out for yourself," he said when asked about the responses from players with drug issues or criminal allegations in their past.
He later added: "It's not like what most people would think of a job interview. Here you have agents and advisers involved, and the agent's idea is 'Let me give you as little information as possible about this kid until the draft.'"
Breaking down that information is entirely up to the teams, and that's not the only thing that has changed about the combine.
Over the past decade, NFL officials have moved media interviews from hotel hallways to podiums. Hundreds of reporters are now credentialed to cover the event as opposed to the dozens who used to show up 15 years ago, a scene Te'o might have to contend with this weekend for the first time since the hoax story broke.
This year, the league will introduce a new measuring tool -- the NFL Player Assessment Test, which has been billed as a compliment to the Wonderlic intelligence test. Polian described it as more of a personality test than a psychological examination but acknowledged most teams have been examining the personality traits of draft hopefuls for years.
What else is different?
The lessons Gordon gives on social media, the same medium that turned Te'o from a national inspiration into a national punch line.
"What we do is have interns go find out who we'll be working with and try to friend them, and usually about 85 percent of them will say yes," Gordon said. "We'll tell them we're all real people with real pictures and then we'll show them how easy it is to get access to their life and their world. We'll tell them that people are truly disguising themselves as other people, and if you don't know them to defriend them because regardless of who it is, these people can see your pictures and all that stuff. We explain that these NFL guys, they know everything. So we tell them to clean it up before it's too late."
And he does mean everything.
While the stories of Mathieu, Ogletree and others have been well-documented over the past year, it's not just those players who will face questioning this weekend.
"I've been asked that already," Mingo said. "He knows he messed up, he made it harder on himself. He'll be prepared for it (the questions)."
Just like all the other pro prospects this weekend.
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