NFL prospects as 'Idols?'

NFL prospects as 'Idols?'
February 19, 2013, 9:15 am
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Nicki Minaj was impressed by your time in the 40, but Randy Jackson thought you came up short in the number of bench presses. So there you stand, waiting to hear from Ryan Seacrest about whether you move on.

That could basically be the future of the NFL Scouting Combine.

The NFL owns Elite Football Combines, which runs regional scouting combines for those not invited to the big show in Indianapolis, which begins this week. In an article at NFL.com, a league official acknowledged the “American Idol” element that could be introduced as the NFL gives ever more access to the combine process.

“The regional combines are also part of a larger vision of expanding the combine brand,” NFL.com’s Albert Breer wrote. “The league has envisioned moving the regionals up on the calendar and perhaps moving Indianapolis back, so that the regionals and super-regional lead into the big show, with at-large spots in Indianapolis or invitations to the draft in New York possibly up for grabs.”

Eric Grubman, NFL executive vice president of business ventures, described the combine as “an immature property, from a fan-access and fan-appeal standpoint."

Nature abhors a vacuum, and so does the NFL. The league could minimize any lull period after the Super Bowl and before the draft by producing stories of young football players struggling to make it through these regional combines for a shot at the NFL.

Hey, why not even put it to a fan vote? It works for “Idol,” after all.