NFL Regional Combine 2014: Key Information for Evaluations

Scott Polacek@@ScottPolacekFeatured ColumnistFebruary 8, 2014

The field and NFL logo are covered with confetti after the NFL Super Bowl XLVIII football game between the Seattle Seahawks and the Denver Broncos Sunday, Feb. 2, 2014, in East Rutherford, N.J. The Seahawks won 43-8. (AP Photo/Mark Humphrey)
Mark Humphrey/Associated Press

The surest way to make it in the NFL is by becoming a superstar college football player, declaring your intentions to go to the draft, hiring an agent to negotiate with teams on your behalf and then dominating at the official NFL Scouting Combine.

However, not every player gets the chance to do that.

That’s where the NFL Regional Combines come in.

Starting Saturday in Houston, NFL hopefuls will have an opportunity to test their skills in a series of open tryouts. Let’s dig into some key information for the evaluations.

 

What it is 

Before you hop on a plane to Houston to finally try out for an NFL team, know that there is an entire list of eligibility rules you must pass to be given a chance at a regional combine.

Julio Cortez/Associated Press

For one, the fee is $245 for positional players and $295 for kickers and punters.

Assuming the fee is covered, the combines are open to players who meet the eligibility standards for the 2014 NFL draft but were not invited to the official NFL Scouting Combine, players who have played professionally in some capacity for a period of time and players who were eligible for previous drafts who never signed an actual NFL contract.

The best players at the regional combines are then invited to the NFL Super Regional Combine in Detroit on April 12, and they have a chance to perform in front of NFL scouts.

Among the various tests and drills are the short shuttle run, the bench press, the vertical jump and the 40-yard dash, as well as a number of position-specific drills.

Note: A full list of eligibility restrictions, rules and various drills are available on the event’s official website: https://www.NFLRegionalCombines.com/.

 

Schedule 

The official schedules for the NFL Regional Combines are as follows:

NFL Regional Combines Positional Player Schedule
DateLocation
Feb. 8Houston
Feb. 15New York/New Jersey
Feb. 22Los Angeles
Mar. 1Tampa Bay
Mar. 8Atlanta
Mar. 9Atlanta
Mar. 15Chicago
Mar. 22Miami
Mar. 22Seattle
Mar. 29Baltimore
Mar. 29Indianapolis
Mar. 30Baltimore
Apr. 12Detroit (Super Regional)
nflregionalcombines.com

 

NFL Regional Combines Specialists Schedule
DateLocationPosition
Feb. 9HoustonK
Feb. 9HoustonP
Feb. 16New York/New JerseyK
Feb. 16New York/New JerseyP
Mar. 23SeattleK
Mar. 23SeattleP
Apr. 12Detroit (Super Regional)K/P
nflregionalcombines.com

 

So You’re Saying There’s a Chance 

Kiichiro Sato/Associated Press

The traditional path to the NFL is difficult enough as it is, so getting there through the regional combines may as well be a pipe dream, right?

Not exactly.

NFL Media analyst Daniel Jeremiah told Chase Goodbread of NFL.com that more teams and scouts are starting to pay attention:

The regional combines are gaining in popularity with NFL teams. Every team receives a copy of the testing numbers, but more and more teams are beginning to send their own scouts to these workouts.

Echoing that sentiment was Baltimore Ravens general manager Ozzie Newsome, per Dan Greenspan of NFL.com: "As a general manager, I am always looking for opportunities to get information on as many college players as I can. The NFL Regional Combines are another resource I can use."

The interest in the process from the higher-ups in the NFL isn’t just talk. The league started these regional workouts a year ago as something of an appetizer to the official combine, and 50 participants from the 2013 regional combines made NFL rosters, with 30 of them on actual rosters.

Darron Cummings/Associated Press

Notable players who went through the process were Seattle Seahawks quarterback B.J. Daniels and Indianapolis Colts linebacker Josh McNary.

Perhaps the next success story will begin in one of the NFL Regional Combines in 2014.

 

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