Latest On 2021 NFL Combine

We had heard a little over a week ago that the NFL’s annual scouting combine was in doubt, and now we’ve got confirmation of major changes. 

The league sent a memo to teams, which you can read in full via this tweet from Tom Pelissero of NFL Network, essentially killing the combine as we know it. There will be no mass gathering in Indianapolis, with no on-field in-person workouts happening. Any on-field workouts will happen at individual pro days on college campuses. There are always on-campus pro days, but the league says it will “work with schools to encourage consistency in testing and drills” across campuses.

It will also ensure that all teams have access to video from said pro days even if they don’t attend them live. “For a certain number of prospects,” there will also be an in-person medical examination at a designated location “likely in early April.” Each team can send one doctor and one athletic trainer.

There’s always a lot teams want to unearth medically at the combine each year, so those changes might be even more significant than the lack of on-field workouts. The club interviews with prospects will all be done virtually.

Another usual highlight from Indy is the prospect press conferences, which will apparently still happen in some form. Colleges will be asked to set up virtual media availabilities with combine prospects. The league is also asking NFL teams to still have their head coaches and executives hold media availabilities like always.

Those coach and GM press conferences at the combine always generate a ton of headlines, and hopefully this year isn’t any different. The combine is also usually where a lot of free agency and trade talk goes down, with agents and executives all mingling, and it’ll be interesting to see how this new format impacts that.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

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6 comments on “Latest On 2021 NFL Combine

  1. ron swanson

    But how will the Jags know if they should really draft Trevor Lawrence? Lol

  2. Ak185

    I like this a bit, actually. It’s a little more old school, where teams had to use film and their own evaluations from afar to judge prospects without exact medical data and speed efficiency ratings and the sheer massive volume of drill data that they’d normally have access to. The choices will be more interesting and it might make a few more “nobody” type players stand out who may have been overshadowed by others at the Combine.

    It’s not that Combine drills prove much, it’s more that they’re controlled by the NFL and let the teams see the “top” players in person in a comfortable and familiar setting that they control. Now, the teams are on their own, like the old days (in that one regard, at least). No casual chats between other GMs or scouts, no tossing around trade offers or feeling out rumors. Or, at least, not at the Combine.

    This could be cool, I think, by making the draft more competitive and giving it a higher chance to see a pick we did not expect or recognize. I could be wrong, of course, but it may happen.

  3. DarkSide830

    all that is needed the medical examinations. rest is just theatrics.

  4. crosseyedlemon

    The only thing that rivals the scouting combine for being a sham is the Pro Bowl game. Kill them both permanently.

    • Ak185

      Maybe they’ll use Madden for the draft too. Would save time-nahhh, no, no, there’d still be commercials, back stories narrated by Jeremy Schapp, digital hugs for Goodell…that sort of thing.

  5. MileHighFan

    Looks like they are just using COVID as an excuse to save some money.

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