Change to Scouting Combine exclusion rule could be coming

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Maybe Baker Mayfield will be going to Indianapolis next year, after all.

As the 2017 Scouting Combine approaches, criticism is intensifying regarding the rule that keeps incoming draft picks with certain types of past off-field misconduct away from all league-sponsored events. The teams will evaluate the players regardless of whether they are invited to Indianapolis; they prefer that the players be available in one place at the same time.

While it’s unclear how the internal opposition to the rule will manifest itself, the rule could be modified or flat-out dumped. The Competition Committee could be addressing the issue later this year, with the anticipation of some sort of a change coming by 2018.

As to the current rule, a league source who objects to the rule has raised an interesting question: How many league employees would be banned from working the Scouting Combine under the same standard that has resulted in players being ejected from it? How many media members likewise would be barred?

Potential hypocrisies aside, the teams want to be able to evaluate all players deemed talented enough to participate in the Scouting Combine. Keeping them away due to past misconduct won’t change that. If anything, it provides a solid chunk of evidence that could be used if a player with a a criminal record who eventually goes undrafted alleges collusion.

10 responses to “Change to Scouting Combine exclusion rule could be coming

  1. can’t wait to see the morally correct, i’ve been an angel my whole collegiate career, tucker carlson crowd on this one.

  2. It was just a PR move anyway. I mean Aaron Hernandez was a bad dude and everyone knew about, yet the smartest coach in history (arguably) drafted him anyway. It’s funny how when you win you can get away with stuff. Belichick could draft Joe Mixon and nobody in New England would care. Mixon is a choir boy compared to Hernandez.

  3. Football is a dangerous game played by (many) dangerous men. Trying to make them all about etiquette like golfers is trying to change the tiger’s stripes. PR be damned, let the best players play.

  4. The whole point of the combine is for teams to vet players physically and personally. Part of that process is finding out what type of person they are. If you’re going to ban these players from the league, ban them from the league, but outside of that at least give teams the tools to be able to vet them. This is ridiculous.

  5. A major point of the penal system is to rehabilitate wrong doers. It would set a good example if the league supported 2nd chances, especially for those who have “paid their dues.” I say let them in.

  6. Smart move. Let’s get the players conditioned to the NFL’s random and aimless disciplinary standards nicely and early. A drill where they simulate John Mara calling the league office to get your suspension reduced without an investigation would liven things up too.

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