Training site to simulate combine with own event

EXOS, which is training more than 130 NFL draft prospects this offseason, will host a two-day pro day later this month that will simulate a combine setting.

The NFL altered the format of the NFL scouting combine this year due to the coronavirus pandemic, announcing last month that all in-person workouts would take place at campus pro days, scrapping the annual centralized event in Indianapolis.

The two-day event will take place Feb. 26-27 at EXOS locations in Arizona, Texas and Florida.

The company tabbed former Tampa Bay Buccaneers general manager Mark Dominik and former Carolina Panthers scouting director Don Gregory to run the operation, which will include all the combine drills, from 40-yard dashes to position-specific work.

The work will be filmed for distribution to teams via agents and players. NFL rules prohibit teams from visiting third-party training sites due to competitive inequity.

“We wanted to provide players with a secondary opportunity, an avenue to get real testing from people the league can trust,” EXOS vice president of pro and elite sports Adam Farrand said.

Added Dominik from an EXOS release: “The event is being executed safely and as close to an NFL scouting combine as possible.”

That means players get only two cracks at each drill, just like the normal event. No mulligans after that.

Players from various training sites across the country are getting creative due to the limitations in a pandemic. Last offseason, prospects began filming themselves working out and sending the videos to teams.

Several agents whose players train offsite — IMG Academy, XPE Sports and Michael Johnson Performance are among prominent training facilities for draft prep — say most places are equipped to showcase clients’ virtual work to accommodate teams as they navigate a scaled-back process.

Some bigger sports agencies train their own athletes, too. One EXOS client is North Dakota State quarterback Trey Lance, who has a chance to go in the Top 10. Lance has his pro day March 12, but he would also have the option to participate in the EXOS combine setting if he chooses.

EXOS has trained nearly 1,000 drafted players and 191 first-rounders, including 14 last year.

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