What Do 49ers Ask NFL Prospects at the Combine?

When the San Francisco 49ers brass makes its annual pilgrimage to Indianapolis each February, the delegation brings with it the task of finding the best possible fits for the organization – both on and off of the field.

Measuring a prospective draft pick's physical abilities at the NFL Scouting Combine involves tests that produce tangible results determined by tape measures, stopwatches and barbells.

But when attempting to quantify a player's mental makeup, the examinations are far less cut and dry.

Each year, every NFL team is allowed to formally interview 60 prospects of its choosing.

The question-and-answer sessions take place inside of a room at the downtown Crown Plaza hotel. The interviews last 15 minutes and play a significant role when teams construct their draft boards.

To get a better idea of how the 49ers spend their time with the future pros, we asked the team's scouting department to share sample questions that it asked prospects this year. The staff was kind enough to provide the following list.

  1. When you walk into a stadium on gameday and hear the roar of the crowd – what goes through your mind?
  1. What do you think will be the biggest adjustments for you, on and off the field, playing at the NFL level?
  1. Describe the best and worst coach you ever had and why?
  1. What motivates you to play football?
  1. Have you ever thought about giving up?
  1. What made you keep going?
  1. Who are some of the influential people in your life, in and out of football?
  1. What do you want to achieve as an NFL player?
  1. What about outside the NFL?
  1. If given a specific game scenario (down/distance/field zone/clock/score), what play would you call and why?

Bonus: Below are 10 questions the scouting department provided before last year's combine.

  1. What about your game will make an NFL team better?
  1. Who is the first person you would call if you had a football problem?
  1. Who is the first person you would call if you needed help making a decision?
  1. What was your first job?
  1. What goes through your mind once a play is finished, to when you hear the play call, to the line of scrimmage, all the way through the whistle?
  1. How do you feel you learn most effectively?
  1. What motivates you to play football?
  1. Can you describe your relationships with your family, coaches and teammates?
  1. What do you want to achieve as an NFL player?
  1. What do you want to achieve outside the NFL?
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