As the NFL keeps trying to push its offseason tent poles higher and higher, it feels like it’s just a matter of time before the NFL treats the Scouting Combine like the draft and farms it out to the highest bidder, on an annual basis.
With the draft now a smashing success as a road show, will the Scouting Combine soon follow?
As explained by Mike Chappell of FOX59.com, the Indianapolis fixture will remain in place for 2019, and 2020 likely soon will be locked for Indy as well. After that, who knows?
“When I think about what we’ve accomplished in the last five days with the help of our partners in the city, I wouldn’t want to try to do it anywhere else. I think everybody is really happy and really comfortable here in Indianapolis,” National Football Scouting President Jeff Foster told Chappell.
Coaches and scouts are creatures of habit. They want to go to the same place every year, they want to conveniently and efficiently move from place to place. They want the player workouts to happen at the same place every year, allowing the most reliable apples to apples comparisons across decades and generations.
Then there’s the medical aspect of the process. Foster told Chappell that the “most valuable resource in operating an efficient Combine is the presence of medical partner IU Health,” with every “imaginable medical need, including unexpected exams, is with 10- or 15-minute drive.”
In a place like Los Angeles, that would never happen, making the process far more time consuming and frustrating for everyone involved. One league source contacted for opinions on the subject predicted that, once the new stadium opens in Inglewood, that’s where the Combine will go. But the source isn’t thrilled about the Combine in L.A.
“It would suck major ass,” the source said, pointing to the logistical issues associated with getting to and from multiple different locations.
Multiple other sources like the idea of the Combine happened in a warmer climate, but one source said that Indianapolis is perfect because “it’s all about access, to be able to keep everyone within walking distance, easy movement for players.”
That said, the NFL isn’t interested in easy. The NFL is interested in bigger, better, and ultimately more revenue. That would happen if the Combine ends up becoming the next portable property that periodically brings excitement to a place that would love to have 336 players and hundreds more coaches, scouts, and media in town for a week in February.