One of the last NFL events to take place last year before the coronavirus began to ravage the United States, the Scouting Combine will look different in 2021.
Players will not gather in Indianapolis to run through drills, conduct interviews with teams and receive medical tests. Rather, NFL teams will attend collegiate pro days to measure players’ bodies and their speed and agility. They will do their interviews virtually. Players with medical issues will participate in a centralized medical re-check, likely in early April.
The NFL sent a memo to its teams Monday detailing the change.
One interesting side-effect to watch: how the lack of a centralized combine changes free agency in the NFL. Agents and team representatives typically use the combine to— unofficially, at least — get a better sense of the pending free-agent market.
The Bears have the 20th pick in this year’s draft, which begins April 29. For now, it’s scheduled to take place in Cleveland.