Having earned second-team All-Southeastern Conference honors from both the coaches and Associated Press in 2003, offensive lineman Scott Wells expected to parlay his success at the University of Tennessee into a mid-round selection in the 2004 NFL draft. Meticulous doctors at the NFL Scouting Combine, however, discovered a neck disorder that even Wells was unaware of. As a result he dropped to the Packers in the seventh round (251st overall). In the end things worked out for Wells. He found a home with the Packers and has started 12 games in his two years. Wells described to packers.com the pressure, the tests, the interviews and everything else that constitutes the NFL Scouting Combine.
It was pretty nerve-racking once you get there. You get into Indianapolis, and there's hundreds of other athletes -- a lot of people who do the same thing you do. I'd describe it as a meat market. You're kind of like cattle at a livestock show. You walk in and everyone's looking at you, checking everything out. They even want to know how you walk, how you talk, how you carry yourself, every little last detail. It's nerve-racking as far as that goes because you're being evaluated in everything you do.
The medical part of it and all the physicals -- it can be nerve-racking if you have any health problems, but if you don't, I guess it goes by pretty smooth. I was missing a vertebra in my neck, something in my C-spine. I didn't know about it because apparently it's been like that my whole life. And fortunately I've never had a neck injury. So I've never had a reason to have my neck X-rayed, and they X-rayed it, and it showed up. All the doctors were confused by it. They all thought it was a major problem. So some physicals I didn't pass because of it.
Going in I didn't expect to be a late pick. I was told by certain people that I was going to be a mid-rounder. I was expecting third to fifth round. From what I've been told since then, I dropped because of the vertebrae issue. A lot of people thought it was a risk because they thought if I got hit a certain way, it would present a problem. But that's just the way I'm put together. That came out of nowhere. I thought it was pretty ridiculous and stupid because I was knocked for something I knew nothing about and it was really out of my control. And I never had a problem with it.
I did the bench press there, and it was pretty good compared to everyone else. For me it was a low number. My bench test -- I think I did 31 or 32 (repetitions of 225 pounds) or something like that, and I'd actually been able to do more previous to that. According to everyone else and compared to everyone else, it was a good number, but to me it wasn't. The best part of my combine workout was the (shuttle) agility drills. I did really well on those.
(The interview process) was kind of nerve-racking also. It was intense. You go and you sit in a room with four or five different coaches, and it's just you. You're surrounded by these older men who are coaches. It's kind of like a job interview in a way because you want to impress them and you're not sure you're exactly what they're looking for. You have to kind of read them, and they're reading you, asking questions to see how you respond.
I don't remember any weird questions, really. I think it depends a lot on your reputation coming into the combine. I know I had buddies in college who ran with the wrong crowd or had drug issues or whatever. It seems like whatever you did, somebody there knew about it. So they would ask you about that, and it would just kind of come out of nowhere. They catch you off guard I guess, hoping you would be more honest that way because you're not prepared to answer it. For me I didn't have any issues coming in. So I didn't have any strange questions.