Because of the timing of COVID-10 (and its attendant restrictions) last March, the NFL was largely un-impacted in the early stages of the pandemic (they were deep in the bowels of the offseason). But now that we’re 10 months removed, we’re starting to see how it will impact some of the league’s premier events.
Among them, the NFL Scouting Combine:
Here’s the full memo on changes to the 2021 scouting combine: pic.twitter.com/e1KNcuaUTn
— Tom Pelissero (@TomPelissero) January 18, 2021
Traditionally, the Combine takes place in Indianapolis – last year’s event featured 337 prospects in one centralized location.
That group included 17 quarterbacks (including six top-50 prospects) for coaches, general managers, scouts, and others to evaluate ahead of the Draft. This time around, however, big changes to the process figure to throw things for a loop. Regional medical checks, an increase in formal pro day workouts, and an up-tick in virtual meetings are on the horizon for teams and players, alike.
In other words, we’re going to miss stuff like this:
— Sooner Gridiron (@soonergridiron) March 5, 2018
And if you’re a Bears fan hoping the team unearths a great quarterback prospect in the upcoming draft, this is no small deal.
Any and all small tweaks will change the prospect evaluation process at some point down the line. But to speak specifically about the whiteboard, that’s a place where teams can get a feel for a guy’s football IQ. How a quarterback reacts, responds, and approaches the whiteboard tends to be a revealing process. Everything from play design, breakdown, player’s body language, and more is under the microscope. Again, this isn’t inconsequential. Maybe there’s still a way to go about doing that in this re-formatted Scouting Combine. For the Bears’ sake, I hope there is.