How to Get Invited to the NFL Combine?

Anushree Gupta

The NFL Combine stands as a cluster of opportunities for college football players aspiring to enter the professional realm. It serves as a grand stage where prospects assemble for a week-long exhibition, every February in Lucas Oil Stadium, Indianapolis. Here, college football athletes undergo a battery of physical and mental assessments. It is an honor for participants to perform activities under the watchful eyes of NFL coaches, general managers, and scouts.

A select group of players from the NCAA receive the sought-after invitation to the NFL Combine. The event has happened every year when players head to Indianapolis since 1987. The Player Selection Committee strategically spearheads the process to broaden the scope for aspirants. This committee comprises representatives from various NFL player departments in order to evaluate eligible players. The evaluation helps the stakeholders to extend invitations based on a position-by-position assessment.

The objective of the Selection Committee is to invite everyone who can be potentially drafted in the upcoming NFL Draft. An array of schools have received over 10 invitations for the NFL Combine this year, with top numbers from the national title holders Michigan Wolverines.

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In totality, a number of players are invited to the NFL Combine which typically exceeds 300 per draft cycle. While there isn’t a fixed minimum for invitees, the aim remains to provide a platform for all brightest prospects who have NFL dreams.

Eligibility for Entering the NFL Combine

To be invited to the NFL Scouting Combine, players must meet specific eligibility criteria before being vetted by the Selection Committee. Moreover, there are currently three main eligibility criteria in place.  Each of these is designed to include a broad range of potential candidates. First, all college seniors are automatically eligible immediately after having achieved their final year of collegiate eligibility. Second, underclassmen who declare for the NFL Draft before the deadline and are deemed fit for NCAA and NFL requirements, are eligible.

Finally, any athlete who is not actively participating in college football may qualify under special circumstances. Moreover, they can enter in the draft year as they would naturally be eligible for if playing collegiately. It’s essential for players seeking eligibility under the third criterion to verify their status with the NFL‘s Player Personnel Department.

How to Get an Invitation?

Players who are eligible under the three conditions can secure an invitation to the NFL Combine after undergoing a rigorous selection process. The procedure is overseen by the Player Selection Committee also includes directors of the National and BLESTO Talent Organization. The committee members vote on every eligible player who should be invited. While the process has its own intricacies, it has provided the NFL with some of the most promising talents across the collegiate football landscape.

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The next NFL Combine is set to happen at the Lucas Oil Stadium, Indianapolis, with its induction on Thursday, Feb. 29,  2024. Interested parties can view the thrilling activities on the LIVE coverage on NFL Network

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About the author

Anushree Gupta

Anushree Gupta

Anushree Gupta is a Content Writer at The Sports Rush. She has immersed herself in the world of the NFL for over a year. An architect by profession, her love for football led to the transition to sports journalism. Formerly a freelancer, she lent her writing talent to various sports including golf, basketball, and baseball. In 2023, she became a part of the Sportsrush NFL Content team, channeling her passion into covering NFL news. She has now authored over 250 articles and built a close connection with the sport. She is a Philly fan with one exception on her list, Tom Brady! Make sure to follow!

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