Regional combines are back again

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In addition to the 333 players who have been invited to the Scouting Combine in Indianapolis, plenty more will be evaluated in a series of regional combines that began this weekend in Los Angeles.

The league announced the dates for the regional combines last week.  Others will occur on February 16 in Houston, February 17 in Cleveland, March 2-3 in New York/New Jersey, March 9 in Tampa, March 10 in Chicago, March 16-17 in Atlanta, March 23-24 in Seattle, and March 23-24 in Baltimore.

A Super Regional with the best of the best of the players who perform at the regional combines will be invited to Dallas on April 7-8.

The NFL started this American Idol-style process last year, as a way to ensure no one falls through the cracks while also reducing the costs to the various teams of having to go see the potential prospects in other places and at other times.  With plenty of undrafted players becoming Pro Bowlers and Hall of Famers, the chances of finding a gem under a rock justifies turning over as many of them as possible.