Here’s why the NFL scouting combine exists, and how it works

WHY A COMBINE?

Before 1982, teams had to schedule personal visits to test, interview and evaluate individual players and scour their medical records, an approach that was not conducive to players or teams. Dallas Cowboys president Tex Schram proposed a centralized event in which a group of prospects could be tested and evaluated in front of all 32 teams over a week-long period, creating a much more efficient and convenient process.

WHO IS INVITED?

A committee made up of the directors of the National and BLESTO scouting services, along with members of various NFL player personnel departments, chooses the top 300 or so draft-eligible players to invite. Draft-eligible players include all college seniors, juniors who have declared for the draft and, in certain circumstances, non-collegiate football players who qualify under special circumstances.

WHAT’S THE OBJECTIVE?…

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