The eyes of the football world will be on Indianapolis with the start of the annual NFL Scouting Combine on Tuesday, an event that was first held in Tampa Bay in 1982. This invitation only event aims to showcase the best draft eligible prospects the college ranks have to offer in front of an army of scouts and coaches representing all 32 teams.
Effectively an intense job interview spread out over six days, a total of 337 players are expected to undergo a number of medical checks, take part in drills and submit to a series of interviews with a variety of teams. For all the attention the on-field testing will get in the media, nothing can make or break a player’s draft prospects as much as a bad interview or a poor medical report, a part of the process fans will never get to see. Each team is allowed to formally interview 60 players, but will also informally meet with many more.
Since the scouting combine began, only three players have been drafted in the first round who were not invited to event. The Pittsburgh Steelers selected the first of those in defensive end Aaron Jones in 1988, the other two being defensive end Eric Swann in 1991 and cornerback Darrien Gordon in 1993.
Set to run from Tuesday 26 until March 4, the combine will actually last just four days for each invitee, with all the players split into their position groups and assigned a specific day to arrive in Indianapolis. The schedule is the same for each group, with their arrival staggered throughout the week and concluding with a series of televised drills.
- Day 1: Arrival, registration, hospital pre-exam and X-rays, overflow testing, orientation, interviews.
- Day 2: Measurements/weigh-in, medical examinations, overflow testing, interviews
- Day 3: Psychological testing, NFLPA meeting, media, bench press, interviews
- Day 4: On-field workout, departure
How to watch:
Venue: Lucas Oil Field, Indianapolis
Date: Tuesday, February 26 until Monday, March 4.
TV: Live coverage of the on-field drills runs from March 1-4 and is covered live by the NFL Network. The daily TV schedule for the event:
- Wednesday, Feb. 27: Press conference coverage from 1 p.m. (NFL Network)
- Thursday, Feb. 28: Press conference coverage from 1 p.m. (NFL Network)
- Friday, March 1: 9 a.m. (NFL Network)
- Saturday, March 2: 10 a.m. (NFL Network); 1-3 p.m. (ABC)
- Sunday, March 3: 9 a.m. (NFL Network)
- Monday, March 4: 9 a.m. (NFL Network)
Online: Coverage available via NFL.com and connected TV devices (XBox, Apple TV, PS4, Roku, Amazon Fire TV and Android TV).
Kevin Colbert will also be available to speak to the media and he has been scheduled to appear for his press conference on Wednesday February 28 at 11.15 a.m. ET.
Each player will take part in timed or measured testing in six general drills, as well as a series of relevant position specific drills during the on-field portion of the combine. The six standard tests all players will do:
- 40-yard dash
- Bench press (225-pounds)
- Vertical jump
- Broad jump
- 3 cone drill
- Shuttle run
Betting is available on individual player markets and also overall testing markets. These odds come from BetOnline.ag.