It’s that time of year again, when NFL franchises get their first chance to get their hands on prospects and conduct face-to-face interviews. Organizations all have their own methods of evaluating players, but each team’s method is always based on some combination of on-field testing, film analysis, and interviews.
A prospect can check every box, but they could find themselves sliding down draft boards if they burn bridges during the interview processes. In 2005, the Falcons wanted to test the mental toughness of Odell Thurman, an extraordinarily talented yet troubled player at Georgia. As Thurman walked into the interview room, all but one person in the room got up and left. “They pretty much told me without telling me that I had to straighten up,” Thurman said at the time. And, after being drafted by Cincinnati, he was out of the league within a few seasons.
While Thurman’s test—which he failed—was simple, there have been some mind-blowingly dumb questions asked to prospects in the past. Some of these ridiculous questions include:
- Do you find your mother attractive?
- Do you like men?
- When did you lose your virginity?
- Would you use a gun or a knife to murder someone?
- Is your mother a prostitute?
- Boxers or briefs?
- Do you wear a g-string or jockstrap when you play?
- Is God an Auburn fan?
- What is ISIS?
There are sure to be more stories of wild questions at this year’s Combine. Breece Hall, a running back prospect from Iowa State, pointed the finger at the Falcons and Arthur Smith as having asked the weirdest question he’s received throughout the interview process: “If one family member could describe you, what would they say?”
Iowa State rb Breece Hall said the Falcons asked him the weirdest question so far of the interview process.
Said HC Arthur Smith asked him “If one family member could describe you what would they say?”
Hall told him they would say “different.” pic.twitter.com/c4ADx92ym8
— Kris Rhim (@krisrhim1) March 3, 2022
“Different,” Hall answered. To me, this isn’t even close to the weirdest thing we’ve heard come out of the Combine. It’s actually a valid question in my eyes; families know each other better than anyone else, and if yours describes you in poor taste, that says a lot about your character. Personally, I don’t think it’s that weird, especially in a 15-minute interview that tries to effectively gauge both the prospect’s mental fortitude and character.