The NFL scouting combine will remain in Indianapolis through at least 2024.
The NFL made the announcement on Tuesday during the spring league meetings in Atlanta.
Peter O’Reilly, the NFL executive vice president of club business and league events, said the decision was made after a “close review.”
Indianapolis has hosted the event since 1987, but there have been rumblings that the combine could move to other cities, similar to the NFL draft traveling from city to city.
“Indy is a city built to host major sporting events, and I’m proud the Combine will continue to stay in our city,” Indianapolis Colts owner Jim Irsay said Tuesday in a news release.
Dallas and Los Angeles also reportedly made pitches to host the combine the next two years.
“We know many cities want to host the NFL Combine, and we’re incredibly appreciative the NFL continues to put its faith in Indy,” said Leonard Hoops, president & CEO of Visit Indy. “We are proud so many media, agents, scouts, coaches, and athletes organically called to keep the event here. And after more than three decades of hosting the Combine, our excitement has only grown when it comes to continuing our work with the NFL and the National Invitational Camp to make the event better every year for all those stakeholders as well as the growing number of fans who want to experience it in person.”
Blink and you might have missed it, but cornerbacks Kalon Barnes and Tariq Woolen ran two of the fastest 40-yard dashes in the history of the NFL scouting combine in Indianapolis on Sunday.
Barnes, who made 10 starts for Baylor in his senior season, posted a blistering 4.23. It was fastest ever for a defensive player, and within a whisker of the 4.22 by wide receiver John Ross in 2017.
Woolen, who was listed as a mid-to-late second-round selection by one draft analyst, ran a 4.26. He spent his college career at UTSA, the first three seasons as a wide receiver and the last two at cornerback.
More than half of the NFL’s 32 teams have a primary need for a cornerback, according to the Draft Network website.
A new set of 300-something (336 to be exact) collegiate stars take the annual trip to Indianapolis in what will likely be the most grueling job interview process of their lives.
Entering this Combine, I remain steadfast in my belief that all invited passers should throw, as nobody has anything to lose with so much uncertainty regarding the selection order of quarterbacks at the top of the class. In essence, the distinction of being the first passer chosen – and likely at No. 1 overall – is entirely up for grabs.
USC’s Sam Darnold, who – for the time being – is tipped as the likeliest to be selected first by Cleveland, bowed out of the race after electing not to throw, leaving the door agape for others to claim the spotlight.
UCLA’s Josh Rosen will primarily be tasked with dispelling his perceived character concerns at this year’s Combine, but there may not be a ‘prettier’ stationary passer in this class. As such, he stands an excellent chance at significantly elevating his on-field perception with a comfortable and composed display in drills. Unlike his three years with the Bruins, he’ll have more than a half-second to deliver passes at the Combine.
Oklahoma’s Baker Mayfield is one of the most polarizing of talents in the 2018 draft class. The 2017 Heisman Trophy winner’s confident, animated demeanor is both a positive and negative depending on who you speak to, but his ability to lead an offense is inarguable. I’m eager to see him interact with fellow groupmates during the workout and how willing he’ll be to simply ‘be himself’ with so much discussion surrounding his personality throughout the process. Mayfield’s at his best when he plays with personality and it’d behoove him to do the same in Indy.
Two who will be scrutinized above all others are Wyoming gunslinger Josh Allen and Lousiville playmaker (and 2016 Heisman Trophy winner) Lamar Jackson.
Allen possesses a mouthwatering physical skill-set and a fully equipped toolbox, which has some believing he could go as high as No. 1 overall, but his evaluation is marred by erratic tape. On the other hand, Jackson has the most to prove of any Combine passer. It’s imperative for the 2-time ACC Player of the Year to exhibit an improved ability while throwing from a stationary position, as he’s developed a penchant for feeling more comfortable while mobile. Nevertheless, a tremendous talent and Combine discussion point.
I’m higher on Memphis’ Riley Ferguson than most. The former Tennessee Volunteer combined with Anthony Miller for what was one of college football’s most lethal pass-catch tandems last season. He enters the Combine as my No. 5 rated quarterback and I’m excited to observe how he compares to the perceived top talents at the position in Indy.
For prolific Oklahoma State pivot Mason Rudolph, his delivery will be an observation point as he possesses more of a push-power arm. Has he shortened his motion a bit? If so, it’ll elevate his perception.
Ohio State’s J.T. Barrett leaves college a similar prospect to how I viewed Tyrod Taylor out of Virginia Tech in 2011 – though slightly less of an athlete and slightly more of a ‘quarterback’. He stands a strong chance of having an extended NFL career and that begins in Indy by putting what I consider to be a ‘complete’ skill-set on display during workouts.
Lastly, Washington State’s Luke Falk has people wondering if he has enough arm to make every NFL throw. A dreaded ‘system’ player? The Combine is a perfect stage for him to quell those concerns. Prediction:
For quarterbacks, the Combine is primarily beneficial to individuals with great physical optics – the guys who ‘look’ like quarterbacks in stature or motion. Therefore, the odds-on favorites to improve their draft appeal after drills will be Josh Allen (tantalizing blend of size and arm strength) and Josh Rosen (silky-smooth throwing motion and advanced mechanics). Expect them to be the biggest ‘winners’ from the positional group.
As a final honorable mention, keep an eye on Western Kentucky prototype Mike White: He looks the part and is equipped with an A-grade arm. The former Louisville Slugger All-American pitcher’s lack of evasion or mobility will be well-hidden during the battery of on-field testing where he’ll be allowed to just let-rip and put on a show.
Quarterbacks workout with running backs and tight ends on Saturday, March 3.
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