More than 300 NFL Draft prospects have descended upon Indianapolis’ Lucas Oil Stadium this week for the 2020 NFL Combine. Of course, the annual scouting event that serves as something of a job interview for the players is not much more than a convention for the NFL team executives who attend. Yet the Combine is a big deal to the players who were invited.
While the on-field workouts scheduled for the end of the week will be the league’s TV ratings draw, the interviews draft prospects hold with teams will be just as if not more important as the 2020 NFL Draft approaches.
The players who were invited to participate in the 2020 NFL Combine were notified last month after a vetting process by the event’s selection committee. The list of invites is made up of college football players in their final year of eligibility and underclassman who have declared for the 2020 NFL Draft.
Below is the complete list of invites for the 2020 NFL Combine, plus the workout schedule for all position groups in Indianapolis.
NFL MOCK DRAFT 2020:
Patriots, Raiders, Cowboys go defense; Bucs, Chargers go QB
NFL Combine invites 2020
A total of 337 prospects were invited to the 2020 NFL Combine. The list of invites was determined by the Combine’s Player Selection Committee, which is made up of scouting service directors and members of various NFL player personnel departments.
How the invites are settled upon, per the Combine’s website: “All eligible players are reviewed and voted on by the committee members. Each athlete receiving the necessary number of votes, by position, is then extended an invitation. While it is not a perfect science, the goal of the committee is to invite every player that will be drafted in the ensuing NFL Draft.”
Below are the 337 players who were invited to the 2020 NFL Combine, in alphabetical order and organized by position group.
NFL Combine participants by college conference
No college sent more players to the 2020 NFL Combine than LSU, the defending national champion. Likewise, the SEC easily has the most participants in this year’s NFL Draft scouting event with a total of 93 players.
LSU had 16 players invited; Michigan and Ohio State were second with 11 players invited each.
Below are the number of 2020 NFL Combine participants from each college conference represented in Indianapolis.
NFL Combine workout times
The biggest change to the NFL Combine schedule for 2020 comes in the start times for on-field workouts Thursday, Friday, Saturday and Sunday. Now the action will extend into and through primetime.
NFL Network, the exclusive TV channel for all on-field drills at the Combine, will present seven straight hours of workout coverage on Thursday, Friday and Saturday. On Sunday, the network will show all five hours of the last group’s (DB) drills. Host Rich Eisen and analyst/draft expert Daniel Jeremiah will anchor NFL Network’s Combine coverage with additional commentary from Charles Davis and others.
Below is the complete TV schedule for on-field workouts and drills at the 2020 NFL Combine.
The on-field workouts shown on TV, of course, are just the tip of the iceberg that is an NFL prospect’s Combine experience. For many players, the drills are the least relevant portion of the week.
A given prospect’s workout at the Combine comes after he has gone through orientation, interviews, measurements, a medical exam, more interviews, media obligations, more medical exams, a position coach interview, psychological testing, an NFLPA meeting, more interviews, the bench press and more psychological testing. This is technically a job interview, after all.
Below is the complete player schedule for all four groups at the 2020 NFL Combine, courtesy of NFLCombine.net.
NFL Combine drills
For now, the bench press remains in place as one of the customary workouts at the NFL Combine, meaning all players will go through the same seven general drills — 40-yard dash, bench press, vertical jump, broad jump, three-cone drill, 20-yard shuttle, 60-yard shuttle — in 2020.
New this year, though, will be changes to a handful of position-specific drills with entertainment value in mind. (Again, the league is aiming for better TV ratings.) From Sports Illustrated’s Kalyn Kahler:
“Roughly eight or nine position-specific drills have been cut from the workouts and replaced with the same number of new drills. The committee decided to add timing to some existing drills like the gauntlet, and the defensive backs’ W drill, in order to make the workouts more entertaining for fans tuning in to the NFL Network’s broadcast. …
“Some of the new drills include a smoke route for quarterbacks and wide receivers. A smoke route is a short route, a one-step hitch that is popular in run pass option plays which are now a staple of NFL offenses. The smoke route is usually used on the backside of a run play as a bail out for the quarterback when the run look isn’t there. This drill will also be timed, from the quarterback’s hands to the receiver’s hands.”
Per Kahler’s report, there will also be new drills for tight ends and linemen, including a figure eight pass-rush drill for D-linemen.
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