NFL team scouts, coaches and decision-makers arrived in Indy en masse on Tuesday, ready to set up shop for a week at the Scouting Combine. Now they eagerly await the first wave of players. As always, that will be some specialists and some big men.
The combine lasts seven days but is essentially a four-by-four grid. There are four different starting points in the week for the various position groups, and each group runs through a four-day schedule of activities. As Buccaneers.com noted on Sunday, those four days per group break down like this:
- Day 1: Travel, registration, orientation, hospital pre-exams and X-rays
- Day 2: Measurements, on-site medical exams, psychological testing and media sessions
- Day 3: NFLPA meeting, psychological testing
- Day 4: On-field workouts, departure
First up to begin that rotation are Groups 1, 2 and 3. Group one is the kickers and specialists (i.e. long-snappers) and about half of the offensive linemen. Group 2 is the rest of the offensive linemen. Group 3 is the tight ends. Since that group will be starting their orientation and medical exams on Wednesday, that means the very first combine workouts on the Lucas Oil Stadium field will take place on Saturday morning.
Arriving on Thursday are Groups 4-6, which make up the rest of the offense – quarterbacks, receivers and running backs. Those players will get their field time on Sunday, with NFL Network providing extensive coverage. Check out the specific network coverage schedule for that day here. Friday brings the defensive linemen and linebackers to town, with the defensive backs finally arriving on Saturday. The DBs will be the last ones on the field, wrapping up the Combine next Tuesday, February 26th.
So the first members of the Buccaneers’ group of representatives in Indy who will be called into action are the medical personnel, the trainers (led by Head Athletic Trainer Todd Toriscelli) and team doctors. The first sit-down interviews between team reps and players, which take place at the players’ hotel during the evenings, will be held on Wednesday night from 8-11 p.m.
The Buccaneers and the other 31 teams bring a big group to Indy because there is a lot going on, a lot of moving parts, and sometimes they overlap. On Sunday, for instance, some of the defensive linemen might be doing their bench press reps in a room deep inside the stadium while wide receivers are running 40-yard dashes out on the field. The Buccaneers have specifically scheduled a raft of personnel evaluators to be at each event.
So, which day is of most interest to the Buccaneers when it comes to the on-field workouts? That is, which position will they be watching most intently. Keeping in mind that Tampa Bay coaches and scouts will be diligently watching all of the workouts, here is Elliot Harrison’s prediction on that matter on NFL.com.