Friday, January 28, 2022

NFL pre-draft changes: Teams may lose pick for interview violations, Wonderlic test being dropped, per report

Cincinnati Bengals v Washington Football Team
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The NFL issued a memo to each team Wednesday informing them of several changes ahead of the 2022 NFL Draft. In the memo (which was obtained by the Associated Press), the league stated that a team would forfeit a draft pick between the first and fourth round if it is determined that a team representative displayed “disrespectful, inappropriate or unprofessional” conduct during a pre-draft interview. A minimum fine of $150,000 and fines and/or suspensions could also be imposed. 

Here’s an excerpt from the league-issued memo on their new policies toward pre-draft interviews:

“All clubs should ensure that prospective draft picks are afforded a respectful and professional NFL environment — one that is consistent with state and federal law and our shared commitment to respect, diversity and inclusion. The same is true of free agents whom your club may consider signing. It is also important for your club to reinforce to prospective players the value your club places on character and the standards of conduct expected of everyone associated with the NFL.”

The NFL also plans to eliminate the Wonderlic test for draft prospects while also making adjustments to drills that will be run during the upcoming NFL Combine in Indianapolis. Instead of wheel routes, receivers and tight ends will run crossing routes. Running backs will be asked to run option routes instead of corner and post-corner routes. These changes were made in order to better simulate game-related movement. Several drills for offensive linemen and defensive players were also revised. 

The league has also made changes as it relates to prospects’ medical evaluations. Starting this year, draft prospects will have one orthopedic examination onsite instead of multiple exams. Medical interviews will take place virtually before the combine. 

The 2022 NFL Combine will run from Tuesday, March 1 through Monday, March 7. While Indianapolis will once again host the event this year, Dallas and Los Angeles are also bidding to host the event for 2023 and 2024. 

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