With the 2021 NFL Combine not happening, at least in its traditional form, that’s putting an additional emphasis on pro days for the college players entering the 2021 NFL Draft.
But for the Pittsburgh Steelers’ general manager Kevin Colbert and head coach Mike Tomlin, the COVID-19 pandemic that caused the cancellation of the combine will also likely mean less travel to see prospects in-person on college campuses.
“In a normal year, we are usually attending 15 to 20 pro days,” Colbert said while talking with members of the Pittsburgh media, including Alan Saunders of Steelers Now, on Wednesday. “I don’t anticipate us being able to do as many this year, but (Tomlin) and I will be very selective on when and where we can get out and hopefully we can still get to the premium ones where there is as many good players as possible on a given team and try to cover that as best we can. We will get it covered comprehensively with all the scouts and some of the assistant coaches.”
The NFL is also ensuring that teams that don’t send someone to attend a school’s pro days in person will get equal access to videos and testing results. That’s because even though the NFL has made a rule that three scouts, coaches or executives per team may attend each pro day, some schools may have more restrictive regulations.
“We will focus on whatever the schools mandate and how they are mandated by their own states,” Colbert said. “We will attend as many of those as we possibly can in preparation for the draft.”
As far as the combine, the usual Indianapolis get-together is totally off, but the league is still determining what to do to replace the usual medical testing that occurs there. Colbert is on a committee that is still determining exactly how that will work.
“ As we stand right now, it will be a medical only for select players and again, that process will hopefully get finalized in the next week or so,” he said.