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NFL will have no in-person Scouting Combine workouts


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https://profootballtalk.nbcsports.com/2021/01/18/nfl-will-have-no-in-person-scouting-combine-workouts/

NFL will have no in-person Scouting Combine workouts
Posted by Michael David Smith on January 18, 2021, 5:45 PM EST

The COVID-19 pandemic has effectively canceled the 2021 NFL Scouting Combine.

Although the league isn’t using the word “canceled,” a memo sent to teams today says, “There will be no in-person workouts,” and that instead players will be worked out at their individual pro days on campuses.

The league is working with college programs to ensure consistency in Combine workouts so that teams have accurate data about players’ athletic ability.

The league is developing a plan to obtain comprehensive medical information about all the prospects who would ordinarily be invited to Indianapolis for the Combine. That will include testing done at medical facilities near the prospects’ homes, with a few prospects getting in-person follow-up examinations, likely in April. Teams’ interviews of prospects will be done virtually, rather than in person.

Although the annual trip to Indianapolis has become an important part of the NFL offseason, it just wasn’t feasible this year, and so the Combine will not go on.

 

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At least it sounds like the Senior Bowl will take place as it normally would.  I wonder if we will see more guys going to the Mobile instead.  Could be a nice opportunity for the Sr Bowl to get some of the high  profile guys who normally don't participate.

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7 minutes ago, Lith said:

At least it sounds like the Senior Bowl will take place as it normally would.  I wonder if we will see more guys going to the Mobile instead.  Could be a nice opportunity for the Sr Bowl to get some of the high  profile guys who normally don't participate.

I think I was being willfully ignorant in hoping the combine would happen.

Will be interesting to see how this draft class (which one would think would be impacted less by gawdy work out numbers) looks in comparison to others when all is said and done. 

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Will be interesting to see how the NFL 'assures consistency' with workout #'s. Is it a traveling combine? A select set of in-corruptable NFL officials travel around the country for 'mini-combines' for several weeks and work everyone out? Or does each team do it themselves?

I think the interviews being virtual actually be that big of a deal. A good agent/smart prospect will have a white board behind him on zoom and be ready to show off his x's/o's knowledge. 

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Man, what a mess this is going to be!  How are these guys who didn't even play in 2020 going to be evaluated without an honest Combine?

I'll tell you one thing, some teams are going to get lucky and end up with an elite player that somehow slips through evaluation cracks and ends up in Round 5.  And, maybe vice versa.  We might see a Top 15 guy completely flop after not paying attention to football for over a year and having his development stunted.

We haven't seen Ja'Marr Chase, Penei Sewell, Gregory Rousseau, Caleb Farley, etc. play a snap of football in over a year!  People are going to take those guy at #2, #5, #15, etc?

They should wire these guys up with sensors for things like 40's, short shuttles, etc. at these NFL officiated Pro Days.

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12 hours ago, kdels62 said:

I fully expect the conferences or some agencies to host regional combines.

I think they are going to utilize the college pro days as the primary evaluation tool.  You may see some players from smaller programs attend larger programs pro days however.  For example, you may see some Furman, South Carolina State, players attend the Clemson pro day.   Typically the major programs will schedule their pro days so that there isn’t a lot of overlap on the same day, this year I think there will be even more of an effort to space these out a bit.  

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4 hours ago, sec101row23 said:

I think they are going to utilize the college pro days as the primary evaluation tool.  You may see some players from smaller programs attend larger programs pro days however.  For example, you may see some Furman, South Carolina State, players attend the Clemson pro day.   Typically the major programs will schedule their pro days so that there isn’t a lot of overlap on the same day, this year I think there will be even more of an effort to space these out a bit.  

Which one will Rich Eisen attend?  

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Given these restrictions, I can see some teams being a bit more gun shy about picking a QB high.   No private workouts or film sessions can limit those assessments and increase the risk of getting "your guy".

 

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8 minutes ago, Dinamite said:

Given these restrictions, I can see some teams being a bit more gun shy about picking a QB high.   No private workouts or film sessions can limit those assessments and increase the risk of getting "your guy".

 

The lack of film sessions will hurt but I bet they can replicate a large proportion of that via zoom and get a feel for recall, ability to digest information, and things like that. Not perfect by any means but better than nothing.

I wonder how the NFL will limit teams from just repeatedly hitting up guys for remote visits.

Your point is well taken though.

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On 1/18/2021 at 11:41 PM, jetstream23 said:

I'll tell you one thing, some teams are going to get lucky and end up with an elite player that somehow slips through evaluation cracks and ends up in Round 5.  And, maybe vice versa. 

 

Sooooooo.....just like any other draft, ever. 

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5 hours ago, IndianaJet said:

Sooooooo.....just like any other draft, ever. 

Yeah.

But more so. :P

I think the pick decisions are going to be, let's just say, less informed than in years past.  If I give you 3 game films to watch of a player vs. 11, you'll be a less informed decision-maker.  If I give you film from 2019 because a player skipped the entire 2020 season then you'll be doing some serious projecting and hoping that he's still the same (or better player) now, especially if you don't have a true apples-to-apples process like the traditional Combine.

IMO, any guy who skipped the 2020 season, even elite prospects like Chase and Sewell, should feel that they'd have to not only get medicals and measurements done at a Combine but also workout, run and get timed, to show they haven't degraded, etc.  That could be a little tough this year.

People were asking if Becton was worthy of a Top 10-15 pick last year given all the other OTs in the Draft.  Then he ran a killer 40 time at the Combine and there was no doubt he wouldn't last past 12-15 IMO.  Someone like Sewell will need to validate himself IMO.

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20 hours ago, jetstream23 said:

Yeah.

But more so. :P

I think the pick decisions are going to be, let's just say, less informed than in years past.  If I give you 3 game films to watch of a player vs. 11, you'll be a less informed decision-maker.  If I give you film from 2019 because a player skipped the entire 2020 season then you'll be doing some serious projecting and hoping that he's still the same (or better player) now, especially if you don't have a true apples-to-apples process like the traditional Combine.

IMO, any guy who skipped the 2020 season, even elite prospects like Chase and Sewell, should feel that they'd have to not only get medicals and measurements done at a Combine but also workout, run and get timed, to show they haven't degraded, etc.  That could be a little tough this year.

People were asking if Becton was worthy of a Top 10-15 pick last year given all the other OTs in the Draft.  Then he ran a killer 40 time at the Combine and there was no doubt he wouldn't last past 12-15 IMO.  Someone like Sewell will need to validate himself IMO.

You are right that those that were unable to play in 2020 get hurt the most without the combine and individual workouts.  I wonder how that impacts someone like Trey Lance.   QB evaluations are already difficult, but now you can't even work him out (and he has less snaps than any other QB prospect in a while I think).

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