Don't blink: The odd skill set one NFL team is focused on at the combine

Never underestimate the absurdity of the NFL or its scouting process.

Case in point: the NFL combine in Indianapolis measures virtually every aspect of a player’s mental and physical ability and to some teams that still isn’t enough. OK, it’s just one team. The Seattle Seahawks. And unsatisfied with the official data the league is providing them with on the next wave of NFL athletes, the Seahawks are having players compete in staring contests during their private interview sessions.

Because, apparently, you never know when blinking will be outlawed in tackle football.

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Names to watch at the NFL combine, NFL Draft
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Names to watch at the NFL combine, NFL Draft

Quarterback Sam Darnold

(Photo by Matthew Visinsky/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)

Quarterback Baker Mayfield

(Photo by Chris Williams/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)

Quarterback Josh Allen

(Photo by Jonathan Bachman/Getty Images)

Running back Saquon Barkley

(Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)

Offensive lineman Quenton Nelson

(Photo by Roy K. Miller/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)

Quarterback Josh Rosen

(Photo by Josh Lefkowitz/Getty Images)

Defensive end Bradley Chubb

(Photo by Don Juan Moore/Getty Images)

Defensive back Minkah Fitzpatrick

(Photo by Robin Alam/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)

Quarterback Lamar Jackson

(Photo by Roy K. Miller/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)

Defensive end Marcus Davenport

(Photo by Jonathan Bachman/Getty Images)

Offensive lineman Mike McGlinchey

(Photo by Roy K. Miller/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)

Cornerback Denzel Ward

(Photo by Zach Bolinger/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)

Linebacker Tremaine Edmunds

(Photo by Michael Shroyer/Getty Images)

Linebacker Roquan Smith

(Photo by Michael Wade/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)

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Notre Dame wideout Equanimeous St. Brown said he was able to go for 15 seconds and Texas punter Michael Dickson made it just 14 seconds, according to Eric Edholm at Pro Football Weekly.

Hopefully the poor showing from St. Brown here won’t detract from his other measurements.

The NFL is notorious for its teams treating player info like state secrets. You never really know how serious a team is when it asks players to perform silly tasks or answer outrageous questions during the combine. Sometimes teams want you to focus on the otherwise irrelevant tests they put players through. Other times they won’t even interview a player they are interested in lest they tip their hand.

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Sights from inside the NFL combine
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Sights from inside the NFL combine
INDIANAPOLIS, IN - MARCH 02: Penn State running back Saquon Barkley looks on during the 2018 NFL Combine at Lucas Oil Stadium on March 2, 2018 in Indianapolis, Indiana. (Photo by Joe Robbins/Getty Images)
INDIANAPOLIS, IN - MARCH 04: UCLA linebacker Kenny Young (LB42) runs in the 40 yard dash during the NFL Scouting Combine at Lucas Oil Stadium on March 4, 2018 in Indianapolis, Indiana. (Photo by Michael Hickey/Getty Images)
INDIANAPOLIS, IN - MARCH 04: Jacksonville State-AL Gamecocks defensive back Siran Neal answers questions from the media during the NFL Scouting Combine on March 04, 2018 at Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis, IN. (Photo by Robin Alam/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)
INDIANAPOLIS, IN - MARCH 04: South Florida defensive lineman Deadrin Senat (DL17) is seen during the NFL Scouting Combine at Lucas Oil Stadium on March 4, 2018 in Indianapolis, Indiana. (Photo by Michael Hickey/Getty Images)
INDIANAPOLIS, IN - MARCH 04: Virginia defensive lineman Drew Brown (DL27) runs thru a drill during the NFL Scouting Combine at Lucas Oil Stadium on March 4, 2018 in Indianapolis, Indiana. (Photo by Michael Hickey/Getty Images)
INDIANAPOLIS, IN - MARCH 04: Virginia linebacker Micah Kiser (LB24) runs thru a drilll during the NFL Scouting Combine at Lucas Oil Stadium on March 4, 2018 in Indianapolis, Indiana. (Photo by Michael Hickey/Getty Images)
INDIANAPOLIS, IN - MARCH 04: Boston College defensive lineman Harold Landry (DL39) runs thru a drill during the NFL Scouting Combine at Lucas Oil Stadium on March 4, 2018 in Indianapolis, Indiana. (Photo by Michael Hickey/Getty Images)
INDIANAPOLIS, IN - MARCH 04: Penn State defensive back Marcus Allen answers questions from the media during the NFL Scouting Combine on March 4, 2018 at the Indiana Convention Center in Indianapolis, IN. (Photo by Zach Bolinger/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)
INDIANAPOLIS, IN - MARCH 03: North Dakota State linebacker Nick Deluca answers questions from the media during the NFL Scouting Combine on March 03, 2018 at Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis, IN. (Photo by Robin Alam/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)
INDIANAPOLIS, IN - MARCH 04: An empty podium before day 4 of interviews with the defensive backs during the NFL Scouting Combine on March 4, 2018 at the Indiana Convention Center in Indianapolis, IN. (Photo by Zach Bolinger/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)
INDIANAPOLIS, IN - MARCH 02: Notre Dame offensive lineman Mike McGlinchey battles with Miami offensive lineman KC McDermott during the 2018 NFL Combine at Lucas Oil Stadium on March 2, 2018 in Indianapolis, Indiana. (Photo by Joe Robbins/Getty Images)
INDIANAPOLIS, IN - MARCH 02: Penn State running back Saquon Barkley in action during the 2018 NFL Combine at Lucas Oil Stadium on March 2, 2018 in Indianapolis, Indiana. (Photo by Joe Robbins/Getty Images)
INDIANAPOLIS, IN - MARCH 02: Oklahoma quarterback Baker Mayfield answers questions from the media during the NFL Scouting Combine on March 02, 2018 at Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis, IN. (Photo by Robin Alam/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)
INDIANAPOLIS, IN - MARCH 02: Marshall quarterback Chase Litton answers questions from the media during the NFL Scouting Combine on March 02, 2018 at Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis, IN. (Photo by Robin Alam/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)
INDIANAPOLIS, IN - MARCH 02: Oklahoma offensive lineman Orlando Brown in action during the 2018 NFL Combine at Lucas Oil Stadium on March 2, 2018 in Indianapolis, Indiana. (Photo by Joe Robbins/Getty Images)
INDIANAPOLIS, IN - FEBRUARY 28: A detailed view of an NFL Scouting Combine logo is seen during the NFL Scouting Combine on February 28, 2018 at Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis, IN. (Photo by Robin Alam/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)
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But a staring contest? Really? That’s got to be as useful a measurement as when scouts would try to determine a player’s confidence based on the attractiveness of their spouse.

In any case, all you NFL hopefuls out there looking to impress the Seahawks better start practicing your staring skills. Remember to try to make your opponents laugh, and if your eyes start to hurt, try squinting.

Also remember that NFL teams take themselves way too seriously and that the ability to abstain from blinking likely has little do to with making it big in the NFL.

Then again…have you ever seen the Seahawks’ logo blink?

Maybe there’s something to this.

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Blake Schuster is a writer for Shutdown Corner on Yahoo Sports. Have a tip? Email him at blakeschuster@yahoo.com or follow him on Twitter!

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