If you go to the NFL’s website you can read about an event created for football starved fans who have not had a football fix since February 4. It’s a boring skills competition featuring young players in tee shirts and shorts and football shoes doing drills such as running and weight lifting. The NFL says the National Football League Scouting Combine is a vital event in the path to the draft. More than 300 prospects will participate in their quest to achieve their NFL dreams. But not every college player is eligible for the combine. Players have to be invited and need three years of college experience and then they have to be good citizens. Two years ago, the NFL decided to ban players with convictions for violence, using a weapon, domestic violence or sexual assault from attending the combine. But there are exceptions to that rule. The 2017 Heisman Trophy winner Oklahoma quarterback Baker Mayfield should be there despite his arrest in February, 2017 and be charged with public intoxication, disorderly conduct, resisting arrest and fleeing in Arkansas. Mayfield cut a deal in June and paid $300 in fines, $160 in court costs and $483.20 in restitution. Last year, Joe Mixon and Chad Kelly and 11 others not invited because of criminal charges. Mixon was taken in the second round of the draft by Cincinnati, Kelly ended up in Denver as a seventh round pick.
The combine has been anchored in Indianapolis for the past 31 years and will remain in Indianapolis until 2020. Indianapolis may get as many as 4,000 people coming into town for the event and they leave about six million dollars behind. Indianapolis officials think the combine helps the city competitively because of national TV attention. But Indianapolis may have to bid against others for the 2021 event. The NFL likes money.