Former NFL lineman Geoff Schwartz recently called the NFL Scouting Combine “one big mental test in your underwear.” That mental test, which gives teams the opportunity to ask legitimate football questions, often leads to some fairly strange and unnecessary questions.
Thanks to Fox Sports’ Sam Gardner and Bleacher Report’s Mike Freeman, some of those questions at this year’s combine surfaced. So, let’s run through some of the best.
First up, the most commonly asked strange question seemed to be, “Would you rather be a dog or a cat?” Six players told Fox Sports that they were asked that.
BYU running back Jamaal Williams had my favorite answer:
“Of course you want to be a dog, so you’ve got some feistiness in you. I’d like to hear what people would say if they’re a cat, but I’m not sure what a compliment would be for a cat. If you’re a cat and you get blown up on a play, do you get back up and you’ve got eight lives now?”
Hayden Plinke, a tight end from UTEP, had my second favorite answer:
“Would you rather be a cat or a dog?” But here’s the thing, I said (I was neutral), because I really felt like I had my hands tied. Like, are we talking a lion or a tiger, or are we talking a house cat? Are we talking a lab or a bear dog? Because then I’m a bear dog. “
That wasn’t the only animal question:
Agent told me 1 of his clients in combine interview asked what kind of fish he would be. Response was "shark."— mike freeman (@mikefreemanNFL) March 4, 2017
What's the point of that ?
Fruit and math questions were asked.
“There were a couple goofy tests on paper,” Oregon State’s Sean Harlow told Fox Sports. “It was like, “Banana = 7” or, “7 = Grape,” and then you have to do addition and stuff like that.”
Unorthodox color tests were issued. I’ll let Kentucky’s Jon Toth’s explain:
I think it was the Cardinals coach who started off by asking me, “What color is chocolate?” “Brown.” And then he was like, “What color is melted chocolate,” and I think I said dark brown, and he said, “No, don’t overthink it.’”So I said brown. Then he said, “What color is butter?” then, “What color is melted butter?” “Yellow.” “What color is snow?” “White.” “What color is melted snow?” I said, “White.” And then he said, “Nope, melted snow is clear, so what does that make snow?” I was like, “Clear,” he said, “Yep,” and that was kind of the ice-breaker.
As expected, political questions popped up:
Agent says he believes more political questions at combine because "teams are trying to gauge if they would have a Kaepernick situation."— mike freeman (@mikefreemanNFL) March 4, 2017
Jeremy Sprinkle from Arkansas said he was asked, “If a bus crashed and you were on it, where would you want to be sitting?” Maybe Sprinkle should skip out on his team’s bus rides this upcoming season.
Moving on, Roderick Johnson from Florida State said he was asked, “How long can you go without blinking your eyes?” Clowns were also broached:
True story: one player was asked during combine interviews if he was afraid of clowns.— mike freeman (@mikefreemanNFL) March 5, 2017
But the strangest question? Erik Austell (Charleston Southern) explained:
... One guy was getting interviewed — I don’t know if you can include this — and he was like, “So they’re talking football, and then randomly, he just said, ‘Bras or panties?’
If you think some of the questions (like the one above) might be on the verge of going too far, you’re not wrong. It happens all the time. Last year, a Falcons coach asked Eli Apple about his sexual orientation (he later apologized). When Blake Bortles was at the combine, he answered questions about his girlfriend. In 2015, Obum Gwacham was asked, “When did you lose your virginity?”
He didn’t answer.
Wink of the CBS eye to Fox Sports