By: Justin VanFulpen
I have received questions from players on what they can do since the 2021 NFL Draft process was interrupted due to COVID-19. Many senior prospects didn’t have a “Junior Day” because campus where shut down before BLETSO or National Football scouts, the two scouting services the NFL uses, could get on campus.
1. Get your own measurements – As we saw before the 2020 NFL Draft, guys did their own Pro Day testing, so that scouts could get the information. If you are able to do your own height/weight/40, etc, you should do it, and be honest about everything. Even if one scouts get that information, see it on Twitter, You Tube, etc there are advantages. One they might do more research on you as a player and make sure they keep an eye on you. Two they will see you are serious about football and the next level process. Three you will know where you are at and how you can improve before the NFL combine, or your Pro Day in 2021. If you are not on the mock draft projected as a 1st round pick, you can use all the help you can get, especially if you are not from a Power 5 conference school.
2. Check Your Eligibility – With COVID-19 and schools going to online classes, some school grading has been changed from normal grade scales. But if a prospect is not going to be eligible in the fall, he would want to look into the NFL Supplemental Draft process. The NFL has said it will not change the requirements for the Supplemental Draft due to COVID-19, so there isn’t expected to be a higher number of players allowed in it, but something to check out to make sure you know where you are.
3. Thinking about Transferring – There is a possibility that some school will remain online in the fall and because of that the prospect of playing football in the fall would remain unlikely. The California State University system plans to move forward with virtual classes through the fall semester, and we could see other follow the same thought process. Since transferring down a level (FCS, D2, D3) doesn’t require you to sit out even if you haven’t graduated, for your NFL dreams it will be better to play this season and get film that not getting any film at all and hoping for the best.
4. Make Sure To Stay in Shape – When/If you get back to being able to go to the school facility you want to make sure you are ready to go.