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NFL tells teams that 2021 scouting combine will not happen during pandemic

Frank Schwab
·2-min read

The NFL is three games from getting through its schedule, which appeared to be a long shot at times in 2020. But there’s still a pandemic going on, and the annual scouting combine will not happen as a result.

NFL Media’s Tom Pelissero said the league told teams in a memo that the scouting combine will change formats, but practically speaking the combine will not happen. The memo, which Pelissero tweeted, said there will be no in-person workouts as prospects will still work out at campus pro days. The virtual interviews and psychological testing will happen and medical exams for certain prospects will occur at one or more locations in early April.

One of the NFL’s biggest events of the offseason isn’t going to happen (the NFL referred to the event happening in a “different format,” which is one way to spin it), another adjustment for COVID-19.

Teams informed of changes to pre-draft process

The memo spelled out how the typical pre-draft process with prospects will work.

Pro day workouts are nothing new. That’s a key part of the process. It’s usually added on to what NFL personnel sees in Indianapolis, and this year it will be the only way to test the prospects.

Interviews and medical exams are just as important to some teams as 40 times and bench press reps in Indianapolis, and that will happen too in a modified way.

It will be a weird pre-draft preparation for teams, but last year was unusual too.

Justin Jefferson, who would be the first-round pick of the Vikings, runs the 40-yard dash during the NFL scouting combine. (Photo by Joe Robbins/Getty Images)
Justin Jefferson, who would be the first-round pick of the Vikings, runs the 40-yard dash during the NFL scouting combine. (Photo by Joe Robbins/Getty Images)

NFL had the combine last year

The NFL got in the combine last year. It happens in late February, and it finished shortly before the world shut down due to the coronavirus.

After that, in-person meetings were nixed and the draft happened remotely. Despite seemingly every NFL coach, scout and executive leaking concerns of a doomday scenario during the draft, the remote draft went just fine.

Before the draft, we’re sure to hear plenty of complaints about how the combine being canceled threw teams off in their preparations. It will take some adjusting. The best teams will figure it out, as usual.

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