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NFL Draft

NFL Combine Notebook: Tracking WR Targets



On Friday, the wide receivers took the podium at the 2019 NFL Combine, and with that came news that the Steelers had met or planned to meet with at least five of the top receivers in the draft class.

On Saturday, Arizona State’s N’Keal Henry was added to that list, giving Kevin Colbert and company a half dozen prime targets to track as they went through the workouts on Saturday.

Marquise Brown (Oklahoma) isn’t running, as he’s still recovering from foot surgery, but here’s the results from the workouts as the receivers took the field at Lucas Oil Stadium.


D.K. Metcalf 4.33 seconds*

Deebo Samuel 4.48 seconds*

A.J. Brown 4.49 seconds

N’Keal Harry 4.53 seconds

Riley Ridley 4.58 seconds*

*-unofficial time


Riley Ridley 30.5 inches

A.J. Brown 36.5 inches

N’Keal Harry 38.5 inches

Deebo Samuel 39 inches

D.K. Metcalf 40.5 inches


D.K. Metcalf 134 inches

Riley Ridley 124 inches

Deebo Samuel 122 inches

N’Keal Harry 122 inches

A.J. Brown 120 inches


Deebo Samuel 7.03 seconds

Riley Ridley 7.22 seconds

D.K. Metcalf 7.38 seconds


Riley Ridley 4.28 seconds

D.K. Metcalf 4.50 seconds


N’Keal Harry 27 reps

D.K. Metcalf 27 reps

A.J. Brown 19 reps

Deebo Samuel 15 reps

Riley Ridley 13 reps


It looks like the Steelers certainly have a type, as most of the receivers are big, physical, and with straight-line speed, a combination that is easily projectable as an outside deep threat at the NFL level. That’s interesting, because that’s not the kind of receiver Antonio Brown is at 5-foot-10 and more known for quickness than strength.

But speed trumps all at the receiver position, and Brown certainly has that. For comparison’s sake, he ran a 4.47-second 40-yard dash at his combine.


The Steelers have or will also meet with a pair inside linebacker targets in LSU’s Devin White and Alabama’s Mack Wilson, according to Joe Rutter of the Tribune-Review.

NFL Draft

NFL Releases Further Details of Altered Draft Process



After cancelling the in-person NFL Scouting Combine last week due to COVID-19 concerns, the league released further details of the significantly altered draft process in a memo to clubs Friday.

Teams are prohibited from timing, testing, interviewing or examining draft prospects at any location other than all-star games or the respective player’s pro day.

Clubs are also banned from hosting draft prospects for facilities visits, dinners, film sessions and private workouts. Violations of these rules would be subject to punishment in line with the NFL’s anti-tampering policy.

Further muddying the process, clubs will only be allowed to have a maximum of three individuals attend pro days. However, all times and measurements are said to be made available league-wide.

Lastly, the league also released further details and restrictions on the pre-draft interview process. While in-person interviews and visits will be prohibited, they can be conducted virtually or via telephone.

Clubs can schedule up to five video conferences or phone calls with a prospect, with each conversation limited to one hour. Virtual psychological tests will not count against the five interview limit.

Teams can begin conducting interviews with draft eligible underclassmen on Monday, Jan. 25.

Interviews with seniors can begin on Monday, Feb. 1.

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2021 NFL Draft

NFL Cancels In-Person 2021 Scouting Combine in Indianapolis; Pro Days On



After weeks of rumors and speculation, the NFL has made it official, announcing in a memo to clubs Monday they are significant alterations to the 2021 Scouting Combine.

Annually held in Indianapolis, the league is scrapping in-person workouts at Lucas Oil Stadium, instead opting for pro days on college campuses. The NFL will coordinate with schools to ensure “consistency in testing and drills,” providing video of said workouts to all clubs.

Interviews and psychological testing of prospects normally executed at the physical combine will instead be conducted in an entirely virtual format.

As for medical evaluations, limited in-person exams will most likely be conducted over a three-day span in early April. While some evaluations will also be held virtually, an undetermined number of prospects will be invited to designated satellite locations for in-person exams. Each franchise will be permitted to dispatch a physician and athletic trainer to conduct the in-person portion.

Leading up to the 2021 NFL Draft in April, the league will work directly with clubs, schools and affiliated broadcast partners to ensure media availability with Combine invitees. The NFL intends to keep with tradition and make head coaches and general managers available to the media as well.

The altered Combine format was devised and overseen by a special committee of league and club officials, including NFL Chief Medical Officer Dr. Allen Sills, Arizona Cardinals owner Michael Bidwill and Pittsburgh Steelers general manager Kevin Colbert.

Further details regarding protocols and finalized dates will be released as the committee continues to meet and plan over the coming weeks.

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Report: NFL to Make Significant Changes to Combine Due to COVID-19



Major changes to the 2021 NFL Scouting Combine are expected amid the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.

According to a report by Sports Illustrated’s Albert Breer, plans of hosting the combine as traditionally constructed are “dead” following a conference call between league officials Friday. It is becoming increasingly likely that the medical and performance-based portions of the event will be held separately.

A number of alternatives are being considered, including regionalized medical checks, standardized pro days and interviews conducting via Zoom.

With regards to the regional medicals, the NFL could set up shop and administer the examinations at hospital in states where a large number of players are conducting their workouts and preparation, such as Arizona, California, Florida and Texas.

The intent would be to limit travel for players, where as the team physicians conducting the examinations would likely have already received their vaccinations.

Other aspects of the medical process can be accomplished virtually, such as reviewing injury histories.

As for the pro days, NFL or individual team personnel would put players through drills at their respective schools, but standardize each workout to ensure prospects are going through the same exercises as they would in Indianapolis. Measurements and result would then be distributed league-wide as they normally would be.

League officials will continue to meet over the coming days, according to Breer, but a finalized plan is expected later this coming week.

The NFL has also weighed the option of postponing the combine until April, but still holding it in Indianapolis. While it is on the table, the move would likely requirement the 2021 NFL Draft to be postponed as well.

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