Here's a complete guide to the 2022 NFL Scouting Combine originally appeared on NBC Sports Chicago
The confetti has barely been swept off the field at SoFi Stadium, but the NFL is already moving on from the Super Bowl to its next big event: the NFL Scouting Combine.
The annual event is back as draft season gets underway in full. General managers, scouts and coaches will pack the stands as top prospects attempt to improve their stock less than two months before the 2022 NFL Draft.
Before the action gets underway, here’s a crash course in all things NFL combine:
What is the NFL Scouting Combine?
The NFL Scouting Combine offers all 32 NFL teams a chance to examine the top prospects for the incoming draft in one place.
When is the 2022 NFL Scouting Combine?
This year’s combine goes from March 3-6. Thursday, Friday and Saturday sessions will begin at 7 p.m. ET, while the final session begins at 2 p.m. ET on Sunday.
Where is the 2022 NFL Scouting Combine?
The combine will take place at Lucas Oil Stadium, the home stadium of the Indianapolis Colts. The event has been held in Indianapolis every year since 1987 with one exception.
Was there an NFL Scouting Combine in 2021?
There was no combine in 2021 due to the COVID-19 pandemic. All workouts were done in college pro days and the NFL had to create a plan for obtaining and distributing medical information for the players who would have been invited to the combine.
How do players qualify for the NFL Scouting Combine?
There are three ways a prospect can become eligible for the NFL Scouting Combine:
- All college seniors are eligible following their final year of collegiate eligibility.
- Underclassmen who declare for the draft and meet NCAA and NFL combine requirements are able to participate.
- Lastly, athletes who do not participate in college football can also become eligible under a special circumstance that correlates to their natural draft year. Those athletes must first reach out to the NFL’s Player Personnel Department to verify their eligibility.
Just because a player is eligible for the combine does not mean they will be in attendance, though.
The Player Selection Committee decides on which players get to participate in the combine. Front office members from various NFL teams join the directors of the National and BLESTO scouting services to form the committee with the intent of inviting every player who will get selected in that year’s draft.
From there, the committee reviews all eligible players and votes on who gets to attend. Players receiving the necessary number of votes based on their position get an invitation.
In 2022, 324 prospects were invited.
What do players do at the NFL Scouting Combine?
A player’s combine experience can be broken up into three aspects: physical, medical and professional.
First and foremost, the prospects are there for football. Players go through positional drills along with five primary combine drills: 40-yard dash, bench press, shuttle run, vertical jump and broad jump.
While scouts are gathering data on the players with their on-field work, there are additional measurements they can acquire at the combine. Height, weight, wingspan, and hand size are some of the many measurables that go into the physicals for players.
Lastly, the combine offers teams a chance to talk to their future players face to face. The 15-minute interviews between teams and players are wide-ranging, to say the least. While the understood objective is to see how suitable a player is for their team, some questions from interviews are flat-out weird.