NFL teams are known for their general weirdness in evaluating players for the draft. And although some of the more "unconventional" interviewing tactics have been thrown out (see: Dez Bryant), NFL coaches are still looking for ways to see how players deal with difficult situations.
Enter Falcons coach Arthur Smith, who apparently watched "The Eric Andre Show" recently and decided that was the best way to evaluate prospects.
Offensive tackle Peter Skoronski, who was picked 11th overall by the Titans, was passed over by the Falcons, who took running back Bijan Robinson with the No. 8 pick.
Listening to Skoronski talk about his interview with Smith, it isn't difficult to see why.
“[Smith] was on me the second I got in there,” Skoronski said, per The Athletic. “I was giving them generic answers to their questions, and he said, ‘You’re really boring me right now. Your answers are so boring.’ The whole meeting, he kept looking at his computer. I was kind of laughing to myself and said, ‘Sorry, I don’t know what you want me to do. I’m answering you honestly.’”
Stress testing isn't an especially new or novel idea. Interviewers have long asked prospective candidates questions like "what do you think of me?" or "what makes you better than this other qualified candidate" to gauge their responses. That seems to be the tactic employed here.
It's ironic, because there is nothing wrong with a boring offensive tackle. It's a position where repetition is key, calmness is valuable, and the ability to stand your ground is paramount.
Adding to the irony is that Skoronski was drafted by the team where Smith was previously an offensive coordinator, the Titans. Here's where Skoronski got his call:
Skoronski joins a Titans team that is seeking stability at several positions, so perhaps his boringness was a boon to the staff there.
For the Falcons, meanwhile, they'll look to get some of the excitement Smith had when Derrick Henry was in his backfield. Perhaps a generational talent like Robinson will be exactly what he's looking for.