The NFL offseason schedule is a cycle of events and formalities leading up to the NFL Draft. It starts with All-Star games like the annual Shriner's game, followed by the Senior Bowl and leading up to the big kahuna -- the NFL Scouting Combine. After the combine, organizations will flock to individual school's Pro Days to watch prospects perform where they are most comfortable. Following those visits would be the Pre-Draft visits.
Now, NFL teams meet with players all along this process. At the All-Star games, the combine and at their Pro Days, but nothing compares to a team bringing in a player for a pre-draft visit. After all the formalities along the way, these pre-draft visits are a critical part of the evaluation process as this is the first clear-cut sign of interest between a prospect and a NFL franchise.
As with all things in the NFL, there are rules and regulations which must be followed throughout these visits. For instance, "Each team may transport a maximum of 30 draft-eligible players to the team's home city or another location for a one-day physical examination. These players cannot be timed and tested. Interviews and written tests may be conducted during the visit."
So, if the team can have only certain interactions with players at a pre-draft visit at their headquarters, what can they do while at their Pro Day, or other off-site events?
"There is no limit on the number of prospects tested by a team on campus. Clubs also may time draft-eligible players, conduct on-field tests of draft-eligible players, and administer written tests to draft-eligible players in the metropolitan area of the player's campus or hometown, at college postseason all-star game practice sessions, provided that the player is a participant in the all-star game, at a League-approved workout (Indianapolis Combine, NFL Regional Combines), and at the campus of any college located in the same state as the player's college, provided that the player is attending a school in NCAA Division I-AA (Football Championship Subdivision), II, or III, an NAIA school, or a junior college, and further provided that the timing and testing only occurs on a school's Pro Day, but only if the players have received permission from the hosting school's Pro Liaison."
"Players who attend college or reside in a club's "metropolitan area" can be given a physical examination without counting against the 30-player limit, unless the club provides transportation for the visit. Also, a player who attends college or whose hometown is in a club's "metropolitan area" may be timed and tested at the club's facility, as long as the club does not provide transportation."
I bet you never knew there were so many rules and regulations of not only pre-draft visits, but also in those meetings with players at their Pro Days. Well, now you know...and knowing is half the battle.