The NFL Scouting Combine is different in 2021 and nothing like the typical spectacle in Indianapolis, but it still exists. It’s still is a chance for NFL teams to gather information about draft prospects. Still is an invite-only affair. Still a chance to increase draft stock.
Plenty of Notre Dame players jumped at the opportunity.
Eleven former Irish players accepted invitations to it, the NFL announced Wednesday. It sent out 323 invites to the mostly virtual event, which will use schools’ pro days as the replacement for individual workout sessions that normally take place in the span of a few days at Lucas Oil Stadium.
Quarterback Ian Book, receiver Javon McKinley, receiver Ben Skowronek, tight end Tommy Tremble, tackle Liam Eichenberg, tackle/guard Robert Hainsey, guard Tommy Kraemer, guard Aaron Banks, defensive end Ade Ogundeji, defensive end Daelin Hayes and linebacker Jeremiah Owusu-Koramoah were the Notre Dame players invited to the modified combine.
Notre Dame’s and Alabama’s 11 combine invitees were second-most of all college teams, behind Ohio State’s 14.
Most of their in-person combine activity will occur during Notre Dame’s pro day, set for March 31. Prospect interviews with teams and psychological testing will be virtual, and in-person medical exams will be limited and at one location in early April.
The pro day might feel like a more formal one compared to most years thanks to the NFL’s increased involvement. The league stated in a memo announcing the combine changes it would “work with the schools to encourage consistency in testing and drills across pro days and ensure that all clubs have access to video from those workouts, irrespective of whether the club is represented at a particular workout.”
Cornerback Nick McCloud, safety Shaun Crawford and tight end Brock Wright were the three departed Notre Dame starters or contributors who did not receive invitations.
Book, Skowronek, Hainsey, Banks, Ogundeji and Hayes participated in January’s Senior Bowl, where they had the chance to meet representatives from NFL teams in person. All of them played in the game itself except for Skowronek, who suffered a foot injury during the week of practices.