I think all this hubbub about the combine is a load of hooey. Can one day of races, lifting contests and drills negate or confirm an entire career of college football performance? If you're an NFL GM and you're thinking of taking Mohamed Massaqoui or Jeremy Maclin, are you going to hinge your enormous financial decision and the future of your team on a race in a straight line? If you want to evaluate a receiver's consistency, game-breaking ability and route running, you can't devine that from the combine. You look at their performance in game situations, you talk to their coaches about their work ethic, you interview the player himself.
I think the combine does play a very critical role, however, for two reasons. First, if you're a top flight or middling recruit who comes vastly unprepared to compete (Especially after being kicked off your team-Andre Smith, Maurice Clarett), I think it further raises some red flags about your already questionable character. Second, the combine gives an opportunity for unheralded recruits with less national exposure an opportunity to show their stuff. I've never heard of this Darrius Heyward-Bey, for example, but now he's got my attention. But for a team to not take Michael Crabtree (first two-time Biletnikoff award winner) first overall because of a bad 40 time, you've gotta be nuts.
I, for one, believe the Bears critically need two positions in this order:
1) A #1 wide receiver (NOT a little gamebreaker Percy Harvin-type... we've got Devin Hester for that).
2) For God's sake, deliver unto us a QB!! PLEASE!!
With the Bears, however, I'm used to extreme disappointment. I don't expect this year to be much different. Hey, at least we're not the Lions (though I think the Lions will actually take draft picks in that order... wah wah).