There will be no NFL Scouting Combine in Indianapolis this year due to the COVID-19 pandemic, but EXOS, a nationwide athletic training company, will operate a mock-NFL combine Feb. 26-27 at several locations. Former Buccaneers general manager Mark Dominik will lead the event in Dallas whereas former Panthers director of player personnel Don Gregory will be in Phoenix. EXOS has 133 draft clients, according to SI.com, including North Dakota State quarterback Trey Lance, LSU wide receiver Ja'Marr Chase, Miami edge rusher Gregory Rousseau, Alabama cornerback Patrick Surtain II and more. Less than half of the total client list is expected to participate, however, opting to work out at their college pro day instead.
"We wanted to provide players with a secondary opportunity, an avenue to get real testing from people the league can trust," EXOS vice president of pro and elite sports Adam Farrand said, via ESPN.
Participants will test in the 40-yard dash, vertical jump, broad jump and many other events that fans annually see at the NFL Scouting Combine. The results will be filmed to distribute to teams because the NFL restricts teams from attending third party workouts. Teams may send up to three representatives to each college pro day. NFL Media's Tom Pelissero posted a full breakdown of the updated pre-NFL Draft guidelines on social media. Interactions between players and teams are basically limited to Zoom conversations.
In previous years, the end of February and beginning of March was reserved for the NFL Scouting Combine, but the structure of that event has been canceled in 2021 due to the coronavirus pandemic. Most collegiate all-star bowl games were canceled as well, with the exception of the Reese's Senior Bowl.
EXOS also has locations in San Diego, California and Pensacola, Florida, but opted to streamline the event in just two locations.
The 2021 NFL Draft will be held from April 29-May 1 in Cleveland, Ohio.