Emmitt Smith talks NFL combine 2013

With the 2013 NFL scouting combine underway, Tim Brando chatted with NFL Hall of Famer Emmitt Smith about his times at the combine and what position has heavy competition this season.

“It’s an exciting week, but it’s also a stressor week,” Smith said. “It’s very hard to train and prepare and go up to Indianapolis and run your best 40 time, or you’re just coming off of a bowl season and you have about four or five weeks to actually get yourself physically ready to go up there and bench press 225 [pounds], 35 times. So you’re not quite at your best, but you want to go up there and give your best showing.”

Smith, who was traveling from Florida as a recruit, didn’t want to risk running his 40 in the cool of the dome in Indianapolis so he went through the physical and all the other tests that the NFL offered and rescheduled his run to be held at the University of Florida.

Smith never ran faster than a 4.5 in the 40. Therefore, he encourages teams to look at the stats and tape that tell the tale of a player’s complete game.

Another observation that Smith made was the competition in the running back position and how NFL teams should scout them.

Smith agreed with Brando that the value of running backs isn’t what it used to be and competition becomes greater for running backs in such a quarterback-driven league. In order to be selected highly, a team has to be sold on a running back.

“It is different now,” Smith said. “All of us players are big-time gambles for a lot of teams because teams don’t realize what they’re getting in a player.”

To accurately profile a running back, teams should look at the competition the player faced in college, Smith said.

“When you start talking about running backs … you really got to drill down and ask yourself which conference are these kids coming from,” Smith said. “And, for me I’ve always been a big proponent of the SEC because I look at the SEC conference overall as one of the most competitive conferences in the history of NCAA football.”

Smith’s allegiance to the SEC means he’ll probably be keeping an eye on top SEC running backs Eddie Lacy, Mike Gillislee and Christine Michael.

The combine will continue until Tuesday, and you can catch more combine talk at Eye on Football and go in depth at each position with our NFL Insider. You can also follow Adena Andrews on Twitter @adena_andrews.

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