MOBILE, Ala. — With COVID-19 still wreaking havoc across the country, it will be a while before normal routines are re-introduced. That includes the way the NFL conducts its draft assessment process.
Which makes the Senior Bowl this week such a critical opportunity for talent evaluators. That’s true now more than ever with the NFL scouting combine getting canceled and coming off a 2020 season in which the access of scouts to college campuses and practices was essentially nonexistent.
Even with some of the obvious restrictions in place that keep scouts, coaches and general managers from getting on the field during workouts, there is great appreciation for Senior Bowl executive director Jim Nagy and his staff for getting the event up and running.
In fact, this will be the only real mass gathering of prospects during this year’s draft process. With the scouting combine canceled, teams will have to fan across the country attending college pro days to get a look at the remaining draft-eligible players. That includes all the underclassmen not able to attend the Senior Bowl, most of whom would be invited to the scouting combine in past years.
But with that no longer an option, the Raiders and the rest of the NFL will be piling up the air miles taking in as many pro days as possible.