Advertisement

4 things to know about the 2024 NFL Scouting Combine

Feb. 26—The 2024 NFL Draft season has been underway for well over a month, but it really kicks into gear this week.

The annual NFL Scouting Combine in Indianapolis is set to begin Tuesday and last through the weekend, bringing together the league's personnel people and the top prospects in the country to meet, greet and show what they can do.

Here are four things to know about the annual event:

1. Bengals officials will speak Tuesday afternoon.

Director of player personnel Duke Tobin's podium time is 3:30, and head coach Zac Taylor will follow him at 4.

The Bengals have 18th pick in the first round, so the pool of players they could choose is rather large, but that is no doubt not the only thing they will discuss.

Plans for their free agents, potential outside free agents and general team-building philosophy also generally come up.

2. Ohio State will have eight representatives.

Receiver Marvin Harrison Jr. running back Miyan Williams, linebackers Steele Chambers and Tommy Eichenberg, defensive lineman Mike Hall Jr., tight end Cade Stover, safety Josh Proctor and offensive lineman Matt Jones are scheduled to be in Indianapolis this week.

Harrison is by far the highest-rated prospect and likely to be drafted in the top five.

SI.com reported Monday he is not planning to work out at the combine, which does not come as a major surprise given his status.

The rest could have a lot to gain if they post competitive workout numbers and impress coaches and team personnel in meetings.

Harrison is No. 2 on the Pro Football Focus Big Board behind USC quarterback Caleb Williams, but his decision to not work out figures to be a major talking point, especially with Malik Nabers and Brian Thomas Jr. of LSU and Rome Odunze of Washington also considered elite prospects at his position.

"You get different flavors," NFL Network draft analyst Daniel Jeremiah said on a conference call last week. "With Marvin you kind of get the big power forward who has some really good quickness for a big guy and really tracks the ball extremely well.

"Odunze will be close to 220 pounds. I think you're going to see him run in the low 4.4s, and he has unbelievable tracking skills to go up and get it and combat catches, physical. If you are in Arizona and you see him, I think you'll see similarities to (Larry) Fitzgerald in terms of how he attacks the ball and goes and gets it. And then Nabers is a stick of dynamite. He is super, super explosive. Just get the ball in his hands and let him go. I think there's more to him in terms of a route runner. I think he'll get more opportunities to show that at the next level, but he is ultra, ultra explosive."

The other Ohio State players on the PFF big board are Hall (96), Eichenberg (101), Stover (105), Chambers (196), Williams (216) and Proctor (264).

3. Two players with area ties will also be in attendance.

Dayton native Jared Verse, a standout defensive end at Florida State, will be one of the first players to meet the media at 8 a.m. Wednesday.

Iowa tight end Erick All, a Fairfield High grad, is set to get his turn with reporters at 10:30 Thursday morning, though all times are subject to change.

Verse has one of the more interesting stories in the draft this year. After graduating from a high school in Pennsylvania, he spent two seasons at Albany before transferring to Florida State. There he had an instant impact in 2022 and was projected to be selected in the 2023 draft but stayed in school in hopes of improving his stock.

Jeremiah projects Verse to be a top 10 pick, going ninth to the Chicago Bears in Jeremiah's current mock draft.

Verse is 16th on PFF's big board, and All is the No. 305 player.

4. The NFL Network will provide more than 50 hours of live coverage, including primetime on Thursday, Friday and Saturday.

"In terms of what to look for, look, the 40-yard dashes are the highlight for everybody because you have history and you can compare what this guy ran this year to what Hall of Famer, said Hall of Famer ran in years past. There's context to it," Jeremiah said on a media conference call last week.

"I think context is very key to the combine and just being able to relate what you are seeing now versus not only what you are going to see on the field in games, but in reference to what we've seen previous guys do at the same event, same surface, all that stuff. It's an apples-to-apples comparison. That's something I think that is good to watch."

Defensive linemen and linebackers work out Thursday followed by defensive backs and tight ends on Friday. Quarterbacks, receivers and running backs work out Saturday with offensive linemen going Sunday.

Workouts are open to the media, and NFL Network will broadcast them as well.

The draft will be held April 25-26 in Detroit.