A previous study suggests NFL teams are inefficient in their draft decisions. Additionally, previous studies find the NFL Combine to be a predictor of draft position but not a predictor of NFL performance. This has led some to question the overall usefulness of the Combine. The focus of this study is to determine if the NFL Combine has a positive informational value to decisions made in the NFL Draft. From an alternative perspective, this study suggests the Combine is only used to identify the best available players in a specific position for a specific year. Therefore the Combine's informative value to the NFL is its ability to act as a signal, by separating prospects in specific positions into groups based on characteristics that indicate their perceived value. A Spearman Rank Correlation is utilized to evaluate this hypothesis. Combine performance is found to significantly relate to draft round for Running Backs, Linebackers, and Defensive Backs. Alternatively, collegiate performance relates to draft round for Running Backs, Wide Receivers, Tight Ends, Defensive Ends, and Linebackers. For these positions, with the exception of Running Backs and Linebackers, collegiate performance appears to act as a signal instead of Combine performance. The Combine can be considered a signal only for Running Backs, Linebackers, and Defensive Backs. Therefore there is evidence of signaling within the NFL Draft for six of the eight skill positions observed. Further, evidence from this study suggests the additional information from the Combine has a positive value when it has an influence on draft decisions. Therefore the Combine appears to have a positive informational value, but further research is necessary.
Bibliography : p. 82-85
Bachelor of Arts