Welcome to 2021, a year where the COVID-19 pandemic is still in full helm and basically directing every single move anybody wants to make. Sporting leagues, events and even online NFL betting platforms around the globe have had to go under full restructuring to make due with the reality we are living in. Such is the case with the NFL, where while efforts to bring the sport back to what it used to be, now under a new normality, the efforts made by the league have met the undying sting of the global health pandemic.
As some of the top college football prospects were getting ready for what was to be the 2021 NFL Combine, plans came to a complete stop in an effort to combat the ongoing health crisis and ensure the well-being of all involved. But now that there is no combine how will the NFL manage to still have proper scouting dates for teams looking for their next big stars?
The Draft Is Still On, But Without The Combine
It has been close to 40 years since the NFL started their job fair style sessions between top college football prospects and teams around the league hoping to find the next big thing. Everyone from couches, scouts, trainers and executives from each team would show up in Indianapolis for a one-week showcase with close to 300 hundred future draft prospects would get their chance to make their case for each teams’ interest. With the COVID-19 pandemic bringing not just the sporting world but the world in general to a major stand still through most of 2020 and 2021 the NFL saw the need to not have their annual combine in order to try and minimize the risks of the virus spreading among several hundreds and even thousands of attendees from around the country.
With the traditional ways of the NFL offseason now having to be completely changed the NFL had to adjust to the times and do with what’s there to be had. While there won’t be an NFL combine, the NFL draft, one of the TOP 3 most important events in the NFL season will still go on. Slated to happen from April 29th to May 1st and given the fact that there won’t be a national combine for teams to do their traditional pre scouting the NFL is now betting on pro days to be the answer to such a dilemma.
Yes To School Pro Days!
With the decision of cancelling the 2021 NFL Combine, the pro football league found a way to sort through the pandemic and still be able to have a sort of combine experience for the teams and prospects. This is where the NFL pro days come into play. Pro days are basically mini combines done by each school with eligible prospects so that NFL teams can have a more individual look and experience with each college player. Everything from measurements, weight lifting challenges and on field drills will be performed in the same way as it would’ve happened in Indianapolis but in each respective college campus. Important procedures like medical evaluations to face-to-face interviews between team representatives and prospects will now be handled either regionally with the medical part and virtually with the interview part.
Of course rules had to be put in place with Pro days as well to make sure all health and safety measures are met and dealt with in the best manner. For example, there will be a limit of three representatives from each team that can be at each pro day that way avoiding the risk of the virus spreading.
No To Unsanctioned Combines!
The NFL is doubling down on making sure no unsanctioned mini regional combines happen in areas where the COVID legislations are not in par to the league’s. With comments and unofficial plans of hosting smaller combine style events without the NFL’s permission, the league has made sure to let everyone involved know that there will be no leniency for events like these to happen. No risks are great enough for the NFL not to look into and try to avoid running into immediate future problems with the COVID-19 pandemic that can easily be avoided if instructions and rules are followed.