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Teams express concern about Scouting Combine exclusions

Teams around the league are worried about exclusions that keep players with certain criminal pasts out of the NFL Scouting Combine since they will still be considered for employment.

On the surface, valid P.R. reasons exist for shunning certain players with histories of certain types of criminal activity from the Scouting Combine. As a practical matter, however, telling players with a history of violent crime to not come to Indianapolis serves only to make the process more complicated and expensive, for everyone.

Key employees from two different teams (and counting) privately have expressed concern in the past few hours to PFT regarding the decision to keep certain players with obvious red flags from the Scouting Combine. As one source put it, “Any of these guys with question marks need to be vetted.”

And they will be. They just won’t be part of the cost-effective effort to get them all in one place at one time.

As another source put it, the decision to keep players like Mississippi quarterback Chad Kelly away from the Scouting Combine means that teams will need to obtain separate medical information about Kelly, flying him from city to city to be poked and prodded in the way that all players are once and only once in Indy. Indeed, the Combine emerged primarily from the desire to get one set of comprehensive medical information on the incoming players. The rest of it, from interviews to press conferences to Underwear Olympics, grew out of that.

Regardless of what it has become, teams will find a way to get the information they need as to the players who aren’t there, for whatever reason. With the immediate emergence of Chiefs jack-of-all-trades Tyreek Hill despite ugly and troubling domestic violence allegations that didn’t get him shunned from the league, teams will continue to do their due diligence even if the player’s behavior ultimately puts him in the “do not draft” category.