The NFL invited Mississippi quarterback Chad Kelly to the Scouting Combine. Then, the NFL uninvited him. Kelly may go anyway.
Agent Duray Oubre told PFT via email that, while Kelly is focused on preparing for his April 2 Pro Day workout, “we are still considering the possibility of traveling to the Combine along with Chad.”
It could set the stage for an awkward — but useful — confrontation. With all coaches, General Managers, and scouts in town for the purposes of obtaining comprehensive information about all of the top recruits in one place, Kelly and other players should be there, regardless of whatever off-field conduct resulted in the NFL banning them. Top prospects will still be evaluated and possibly drafted even if they aren’t at the Combine; keeping them away makes it harder (and more expensive) for all teams to get the information they need.
Given that Kelly was on the list of invited players as of February 1, there’s a chance that the NFL will relent. The more likely result is that the league will double down and resist allowing Kelly to participate with even more zeal.
But while that would keep Kelly away from the official activities in and around Lucas Oil Stadium, the teams should be allowed to invite anyone they choose to the rooms where the interviews happen. Hopefully they will, if Kelly decides to stand up to the powers-that-be and prove the folly of a rule driven not by helping teams make the right draft picks but P.R.