As the world marks one year since the coronavirus pandemic set in, the NFL also saw their last “normal” activity 365 days ago.
When the league gathered in Indianapolis last March for the 2020 Scouting Combine, that was the last event that went off as usual for the league. Days after the combine concluded, professional sports started shutting down as we took the first few surreal steps into the new world we have now almost gotten used to.
Meanwhile the business of the league goes on and with the pandemic still around, the scouting combine for 2021 was obviously canceled in favor of indicual pro days at various universities.
That means the Green Bay Packers and the other 31 teams have to alter their approach in the lead up to next month’s NFL Draft. With teams limited to only three representatives per pro day, Packers general manager Brian Gutekunst will be traveling more often than he has in past years.
It also means virtual interviews instead of in-person ones and while we’ve all adapted to zoom calls, there’s still that missing element of physically being in the same company as a prospect. Perhaps that’s why teams are scheduling multiple interviews with players more than ever this year.
Teams had to get creative during the draft and during the season last year and with this COVID world now entering its second year, the Packers will again have to get creative to get the information they need as they begin to prepare their draft board.
Judging by how they adapted during training camp and the regular season, there is no reason to believe the Packers won’t be just fine during the pre-draft process.
Teams lean heavily on the combine to acquire data on potential draft prospects but with this year’s event on hiatus thanks to the pandemic, it’s going to take creative planning to get what they need to fill their draft board.
Gutekunst was at Clemson’s pro day and there were plenty of tantalizing prospects to look at. Could a Aaron to Amari Rodgers connection be in line for the Packers in 2021?
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