NFL teams try to gather as much information as they can about prospects leading up to the draft, to the danger of the player himself.
Most guys go along with it for fear of not angering a potential boss, but some guys are willing to pass.
Last year, Christian McCaffrey stood out by refusing to conduct private workouts with teams, and there’s likely another high first-round pick following in his footsteps. According to Albert Breer of SI.com, Florida State safety Derwin James refused a request from the Buccaneers to work out after his pro day.
James ran a 4.47 40, posted 21 repetitions of the 225-pound bench press, and had an 11-foot broad jump and a 40-inch vertical at the Scouting Combine, so combined with his college tape, he’s presumably shown enough. But teams are going to push guys to work out because they want to see things with their own eyes.
First-round prospect Taven Bryan had eight workouts, followed by 12 team visits in a 16-day span. And as players go into workouts and visits exhausted, they’re putting themselves at risk. Already this offseason, Wisconsin cornerback Nick Nelson tore his meniscus while working out for the Lions, and N.C. State defensive lineman Kentavius Street tore his ACL while working out for the Giants.
Breer mentions that some other top-15 prospects have also made the decision to refuse workouts, as they should. With a little luck, the trend will spread and players will stop putting their professional futures at risk needlessly.