The NFL sent a memo to all 32 teams announcing drastic changes to the upcoming Scouting Combine.
Last year, the NFL Scouting Combine was able to take place at Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis as usual, because it took place before the massive spread of COVID-19 hit North America. But, teams did have to conduct interviews with prospects virtually instead of in-person at their respective facilities in the lead up to the NFL Draft. With the coronavirus pandemic still ravaging the country and the distribution of vaccines being a disaster thus far, the NFL made a decision on the fate of the 2021 Scouting Combine.
On Monday, the NFL sent out a memo to all 32 teams that the Scouting Combine “will be conducted in a different format.” That new format is there will be no in-person workouts taking place at the combine. Instead, prospects will workout at individual Pro Days.
Conducting Scouting Combine in normal format just wasn’t feasible
The NFL will ensure that testing and drills are consistent across each college campus and that each team will be able to obtain and view videos from the workouts.
The league is also working to obtain medical information on each Combine-eligible prospect, where they will get testing done at a medical facility near their place of residence. Select prospects will be permitted to have in-person examinations at one or more designated facilities in April. Each team will be allowed to send one physician and one trainer to those medical exams.
Considering there will be no in-person meetings at the Combine, the traditional 15-minute interviews between teams and interested prospects will be conducted virtually. The same goes for prospects interviewing with the media.
While the NFL didn’t use the word canceled, it essentially is, as prospects and teams won’t flock to the home of the Indianapolis Colts in February. Much like most of us, teams and players will have to do their work remotely ahead of the 2021 NFL Draft.