Is throwing at the Scouting Combine “competition”?

As NFL Network launched its coverage of the Scouting Combine’s Saturday workouts, the broadcasting operation that depends on incoming rookies choosing to fully participate in the workouts offered up, via its primary draft analyst, an editorial on the decision of former USC quarterback Sam Darnold to not throw.

Mike Mayock criticized the decision as a reluctance to compete.

“They want competitors,” Mayock said, referring to NFL coaches and executives. “That kid ought to want to get up before or after [Josh] Rosen, Lamar Jackson, all those guys, and show I’m as good if not better. . . . You ought to want to burr up and compete. And it just bothers me a little bit that he ought to override his trainer or override his agent or override his parents — whoever’s telling him not to throw — he should say ‘I’m a competitor, and I want to throw.’”

Mayock also acknowledged that the decision won’t affect Darnold’s draft grade. So if that’s the case, and if the Scouting Combine is truly a competition, there’s nothing for anyone to actually win.

Of course, there’s plenty to lose. Every workout as part of this extended job interview/audition presents another opportunity for a player to get injured, which definitely would affect his

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