Updated February 28, 8:40 AM CT
February 26, 2020
Combine weigh-ins to be done twice
The NFL has instituted a second weigh-in, just before players do their on-field workouts. A committee of General Managers requested the change, to make sure players are working out at their listed weights, as they do in a pro day setting.
For example, receivers were weighed and measured on Monday, but won’t run until Thursday night, and players’ bodies can change significantly in a short amount of time.
A number of players go to extreme measures to hit certain numbers during the pre-draft process.
A year ago, Florida State pass-rusher Brian Burns played at 230 pounds, but bulked up to 253 in two months for his Combine weigh-in (oh, you know, a 10 percent of his body weight increase). After proving he was the size of an actual NFL outside linebacker, the Panthers drafted him in the first round. Once he went through OTAs, he was back down to 243 by the middle of June, and he referred to the 253 as his “max weight.”
The swings won’t be as big in four days, but the league wants to make sure they’re getting a representative measurement.
February 24, 2020
Changes are a comin' to the NFL scouting combine
Fewer assistant coaches will be at the Combine watching prospects run through drills this year.
The Denver Broncos and Los Angeles Rams, two teams that missed the playoffs last season, are leaving their assistants behind this year, figuring their staffs can watch the on-field drills on broadcasts and review taped interviews without having to fly to Indianapolis.
NFL Network draft analyst Daniel Jeremiah questions the move.
“The one thing that’s interesting, I’ve read all these stories about people leaving personnel at home and coaches not coming to the combine. And I don’t know how I feel about that because I think when you get a chance to be around the players, as many opportunities as you can get a chance to be around them and be in the room with them when you interview them, I think there’s value in that,” Jeremiah said.
“Now, if you want to go back and watch the workouts at home or you want to go finish your interviews, if you’re a corners coach or a receivers coach, I should say, and you finish up all the receiver interviews, and you don’t want to stay in the building to watch the workout, I understand that because you can watch it all on tape. But I think it’s a lost opportunity if you’re a coach and you don’t get a chance to be in the room to be around these players. It’s just another point of contact that I think can really help you.”
This year’s group is deep wide receiver and not as deep at edge rusher, tight end, and linebacker as it’s been in the last few years. The quarterback class again is strong, led by national champion LSU's Joe Burrow with questions lingering over Tua Tagovailoa’s health.
The NFL Network will broadcast 26 hours of live on-field drills Thursday through Sunday, beginning with quarterbacks, wide receivers and tight ends from 4-11 p.m. ET Thursday. That will be followed by running backs, O-linemen and special teams Friday and defensive linemen and linebackers Saturday. The coverage concludes Sunday with five hours of defensive backs drills.
Sixteen new position-specific drills are coming to the combine with 10 old ones being eliminated as the league incorporates some of the skill sets that colleges players are bringing to the NFL nowadays.
For example, end zone fade routes have been added for quarterbacks, receivers and tight ends with the toe tap drill eliminated, and running backs have to run routes and catch quick passes.
“It’s been long overdue to have our evaluation tools match where the game is,” Jeremiah said. “I’m encouraged by that. I think it’s going to be a fun part of the combine. It’s going to be refreshing to see some of these new drills.”
It all starts on Tuesday, when tight ends, quarterbacks and wide receivers meet with the media in the morning, followed by general managers and coaches.
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