The NFL combine interview questions keep getting weirder. This year, Texas cornerback prospect Kris Boyd may own the strangest reported question of the week.
“One crazy question I can think of was, ‘Do I have both of my testicles?’ ” Boyd said. “And I was like, ‘Yeah. I don’t know why you got to ask.’ That was one I can think of.”
Boyd, who benched a position-best 19 reps at the combine, didn’t specify which team asked.
Other prospects reported strange run-ins beyond simply questions.
North Carolina-Charlotte guard Nate Davis said one team official rebuffed his handshake at meeting’s start. Instead, the official punched Davis in the chest.
“He was like, ‘You have a soft chest,’ and I was like ‘OK,’ and we just kept it going,” Davis told reporters. “That was probably the weirdest thing.”
Davis said he didn’t remember which team punched him. But he took the jab in stride.
“It’s football, you know,” Davis said. “It’s just a game. It’s serious, but at the same time, nothing personal.”
Another front-runner: the Seahawks’ traditional staring contest. This year it was Kentucky cornerback Lonnie Johnson who told reporters the Seahawks had him hold his gaze for “15, 16 seconds” during his formal interview, per NFL.com’s Chase Goodbread. Johnson said he won.
Punter Michael Dickson said last year Seattle challenged him to a staring contest.
“I had to see how long I could stare without blinking,” Dickson said last year. “I had a couple of attempts. I tried a few techniques, looking away from the light, trying to block any sort of wind coming into the eyes. That was a weird process.”
The Seahawks went on to select Dickson in the fifth round of the 2018 draft. Dickson was named an all-pro as a rookie.
Strange combine interview experiences date back far earlier than the last few years. Each organization is allowed 60 formal interviews for 15 minutes, plus more informal meetings. Some teams often look to glean insight on a player’s personality while testing his ability to respond to prompts in real time. Some sessions feature on-field and film study as well. But many coaches and general managers across the league this week said they can gather fitness and skills from college play and workouts, instead preferring to use interviews to better understand prospects’ mental and emotional composure.
Per past reports, questions have ranged from whether a player was afraid of clowns to if he’d rather be a cat or dog. Former NFL defensive end Austen Lane once said a team asked him to choose boxers or briefs.
In 2010, the then-Miami Dolphins general manager asked receiver Dez Bryant if his mother was a prostitute. The general manager, Jeff Ireland, later issued an apology statement and said he used “poor judgment in one of the question I asked him. I certainly meant no disrespect.”
Bryant said at the time he just aimed to answer their questions.
In Indianapolis this year, Florida’s Jachai Polite was less forgiving. The edge rusher told reporters the San Francisco 49ers “just bashed me the whole time.” He balked also at the Green Bay Packers’ questioning his character, accountability and worst plays.
“I’m not being a crybaby or anything,” Polite said, via Zach Heilprin of the Wisconsin Sports Zone Network. “That’s their job. I just didn’t know what to expect.”