Patriots

Next Pats Podcast: Which players suffer the most from elimination of combine?

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With COVID-19 still a concern, the NFL made the decision to cancel this year's Scouting Combine.

That, of course, will significantly impact how the 2021 NFL Draft unfolds. While teams will hold virtual interviews and workouts with Draft prospects, they won't have nearly the same amount of information on a player as they have in years past. The lack of a combine also could negatively affect players who may have been able to catapult up draft boards with their sheer athleticism.

Perry: Will Patriots who opted out be back in 2021?

So which Draft prospects does the combine's cancellation affect most? Albert Breer of The MMQB joined Phil Perry on a brand new Next Pats Podcast to discuss.

Next Pats Podcast: Which players suffer the most from elimination of the combine? | Listen & Subscribe | Watch on YouTube

"I actually think it might be the guys who have character flags," Breer said. "I think teams might play it safe this year. ... I heard that there was only one GM who was actually out on the college scouting trail this season. You think about how much is lost there. They're losing a year of, 'I'm going to go in the building and go out to practice and I'm going to see how this guy who's got a character flag is interacting with his teammates. That's gone. How do they interact with each other at the combine when they're around other kids? That's gone.

"I think that those are the kids, the kids who have serious questions like stuff in their past that they have to answer for. I think it's going to be harder for teams to reach a real comfort level with some of those guys. The medical question is going to be a little bit easier because at least you are going to be in front of the team doctors, and a lot of that stuff is a little more cut and dry. I think character questions are going to be I'd say a little more difficult to answer for."

 

Also discussed in the new episode: How much different will the Senior Bowl be this year? And how far can Alabama QB Mac Jones move up in the draft?

Check out the latest episode of the Next Pats Podcast on the NBC Sports Boston Podcast Network, or watch on YouTube below: