In years past, teams have skirted the line of permissible questioning when conducting interviews with NFL prospects at the annual scouting combine. From a player's sexuality to other off-the-wall inquires, NFL teams dive deep -- too deep sometimes.
"Teams are going to try to fluster you," Patriots safety Devin McCourty told The MMQB. "It’s all about how you react."
Teams use interviewing time at the NFL combine differently. Some border on invasive and illegal tactics, while others ask about office supplies. Perhaps this year will mark a departure from the invasive to the goofy.
Below, we've collected ten of the ridiculous questions teams have posed to prospects over the years.
Will Lindsey Duke be there for dinner?
UCF quarterback Blake Bortles told Dan Patrick in 2014 that a couple of teams wanted to know if he had a girlfriend. He did: the Internet-famous Lindsey Duke, whom Bortles' college coach George O'Leary memorably said "deserves 6 million Googles."
Bortles added that during an awkward exchange, one team rep asked, "If we come to town, will she be there for dinner?"
Bortles suggested they wanted to see how he would react. He's probably wrong.
My favorite @NFL Scouting Combine question from one team to prospects: “Which team do you pick in Madden and why?”
— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) February 26, 2014
Actually this a totally legit question: Does the player try to steer a middle-of-the-pack team to greatness, or use a juggernaut to pummel bottom feeders? I want the guy willing to take the Jaguars head-to-head with the Seahawks.
How many different things can you think of that you can do with a paper clip?
I don't know, nine?!
Your mom was a prostitute?
In 2010, former Dolphins general manager Jeff Ireland asked Dez Bryant about his family life and upbringing and veered a bit off course. When Ireland asked Bryant what his father did for a living, the exchange allegedly went like this:
"My dad was a pimp."
"What did your mom do [for a living]?"
"She worked for my dad."
"Your mom was a prostitute?"
"No, she wasn't a prostitute."
What animal would you describe yourself as?
Alabama wide receiver Kevin Norwood fielded this one and took his time to answer.
"I never even thought about it before. I sat there for at least two minutes thinking like, 'OK, I'm dependable. I'm a silent killer.' So the closest thing I thought of was a snake, a python. Nobody hears it coming but when it comes it's going to kill you."
What's the drug of choice on your campus?
This one actually came from NFL Network's Steve Mariucci during a sample interview last year with Geno Smith in February 2013. Gregg Rosenthal of NFL.com said Smith seemed stunned, then answered that he didn't know.
The correct answer of course would have been, "Sir, I am high on life."
Do you wear a g-string or a jock strap when you play?
This one fell on defensive tackle Gerald McCoy in 2010. When NFL Network analyst Mike Mayock later asked for McCoy's answer to the question, McCoy had nothing but a stunned expression.
For reference, lucky gold thongs (and perhaps g-strings) only work in baseball.
Do you feel entitled [as a white running back], or like a poster child for white running backs?
I'm paraphrasing the question one team posed to current Vikings running back Toby Gerhart. "No, I'm just out there playing ball. I don't think about that," Gerhart said that he answered. "I didn't really know what to say."
What is your goal for a family going forward? Are you looking to marry young or stay single?
Former NFL quarterback and current Bleacher Report analyst Chris Simms said that when he interviewed at the combine, multiple teams wanted to know about his plans for making a family. The question might be a passive way of asking about sexuality, or an attempt to gauge whether the guy is focused on settling down or partying, as Simms suggests.
In other words, are you a Tom Brady or a Matt Leinart?
If you could pick one superpower, what would it be?
Devin McCourty told the MMQB that teams have confronted players with the "superpower" question.
There's really no right or wrong answer here, though the rightest answer is the ability to savagely hit quarterbacks without going helmet to helmet.
When did you lose your virginity?
Oregon State DE Obum Gwacham was asked a very personal question at the 2015 combine, that he chose not to answer.