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NFL scouting combine: How to watch? When are the QBs throwing?

What is this?

Every late February and/or early March, the NFL world descends on Indianapolis, where almost everyone from Cowboys owner Jerry Jones to Chiefs coach Andy Reid can be seen walking the streets and skyways between convention halls, restaurants and hotels. This year, 321 college prospects were invited. Players, agents, coaches, front office executives and team medical personnel are all there for their own angle of business, which revolves around April's NFL draft and the opening of free agency in about two weeks. Teams put players through a long list of evaluations including medical testing, formal and informal interviews, on-field drills, strength testing and measurements.

Where is this?

While the NFL has accepted bids to move the combine out of Indianapolis, the league announced last month that the event would stay through at least 2025. This is the 37th consecutive year for the combine in Indy.

How to watch?

The NFL Network will broadcast four days of live on-field drills from Thursday through Sunday, beginning with defensive linemen and linebackers from 2-7 p.m. Central time on Thursday. The league network is also streaming the event through the NFL app or NFL.com/watch.

When to watch?

Thursday, 2 p.m.: Defensive linemen and linebackers

Friday, 2 p.m.: Defensive backs and tight ends

Saturday, noon: Quarterbacks, receivers and running backs

Sunday, noon: Offensive linemen

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Who to watch?

The QBs: USC's Caleb Williams and North Carolina's Drake Maye headline this highly touted quarterback class, but LSU's Jayden Daniels and Michigan's J.J. McCarthy are among the next group of passers with much to gain by impressing a team or two such as the quarterback-needy Vikings. McCarthy (6-3, 202 pounds) and Daniels (6-4, 210) are slight enough that their frames will be picked apart by NFL evaluators in this combine setting. How they fare during interviews and on-field drills, alongside fellow productive college passers in Washington's Michael Penix Jr. and Oregon's Bo Nix, can further nudge a team toward making him "their guy."

Locals: Gophers safety Tyler Nubin is the top in-state college prospect, but Notre Dame left tackle Joe Alt, the Totino-Grace product, will be the first local draftee this year. Alt is widely considered to be an early first-round pick after the team captain was an All-America selection as a junior last fall. Alt (6-8, 322) is ranked as the No. 9 prospect in the draft by NFL Media analyst Daniel Jeremiah, who wrote he's "easy to bet on." Nubin (6-2, 210) brings a program-record 13 interceptions on his résumé. He's a proven playmaker and has a case to be the top safety in this class. Tight end Brevyn Spann-Ford is the other Gophers invitee. Spann-Ford (6-7, 270) has the size to transition to the NFL, and he's riding a decent showing at the Senior Bowl this month when he caught a touchdown pass. He's also fighting through a deep pool of tight end prospects, starting with Georgia's Brock Bowers.

Defensive linemen: The Vikings need help in the trenches. That help is expensive in free agency, and their current top edge trio — Danielle Hunter, Marcus Davenport and D.J. Wonnum — are scheduled to hit the open market. If the Vikings can't land a QB with pick No. 11, edge rusher is a bet that top analysts are making. Jeremiah and ESPN's Matt Miller have the Vikings taking Alabama edge rusher Dallas Turner in their latest mock drafts. UCLA's Laiatu Latu, Penn State's Chop Robinson and Florida State's Jared Verse are other names to watch. The Vikings could also use help on the interior, where Texas defensive tackle Byron Murphy II is a popular first-round option.

They're doing what?

The most visible portion of the week will be the televised on-field drills, in which you'll see a lot of speed and agility testing such as the 40-yard dash or 20-yard shuttle. Quarterbacks will throw various routes. Receivers or safeties, like Nubin, will run the "gauntlet drill," in which players make a series of catches both flat-footed and while sprinting to the other sideline. More data is collected by teams behind closed doors via MRI and X-ray machines as well as prodding interviews.

When will we hear from the Vikings?

Coach Kevin O'Connell and General Manager Kwesi Adofo-Mensah are scheduled to be on the podium for news conferences in Indianapolis on Tuesday at 11:30 a.m. and noon Central time, respectively. Both are also scheduled to sit down with local reporters on Wednesday.