The NFL Scouting Combine has established itself as one of the most critical tentpole events of the NFL offseason, and it has been firmly rooted in Indianapolis, which has by and large done a great job hosting the event annually, for a number of years. Quite a bit about the event may soon be changing.
The NFL has been talking for years now about moving the event, and Tony Pauline writes that the likely possibilities if not in Indianapolis are either Frisco, Texas, or Los Angeles, California. More troublingly, he writes that the event could be split up throughout the country, with different position groups working at different locations.
“One source with the Denver Broncos said he expects the Combine to be broken up — something I initially wrote about during the 2020 event”, he wrote for Pro Football Network. “The most likely outcome would involve spreading positions around the country for workouts”.
Nevertheless, he said, players would still have to meet initially at a central location for the medical part of the process, something that they did even last year when there was no Combine due to the pandemic. And nobody really seems to be happy about it.
However, Pauline notes that not only do players, but also scouts hold significant influence over the event. As you will probably recall, a very large percentage of this year’s Combine participants, through their representatives, threatened to ‘boycott’ the event in response to certain restrictions that were regarded as unnecessary. The NFL quickly backed down. But it’s not just the players, it’s teams as well.
“My Denver source told me scouting departments have put together a committee of sorts which is talking — if not negotiating — with the league on the state of future Combines”, Pauline wrote. I’m guessing that the Pittsburgh Steelers are involved in that committee.
The NFL increasingly is trying to make every possible offseason activity into an event, to the point where they have even turned schedule releases into primetime television. In recent years, they have taken further and further steps to make the Combine a bigger event.
Perhaps they feel they can spread things out even more by separating the event, so you can have running back Combines, quarterback Combines, edge defender Combines, and on and on down the list. But beyond that, I find it hard to imagine who actually thinks this is a good idea. I doubt many players or scouts do. It just sounds like a completely avoidable logistical nightmare that introduces far more variables than necessary.