Do players really have a chance at making a roster if they’re not invited to the NFL Scouting Combine?
The answer to that question is yes, and you need look no farther than defensive end Benson Mayowa for the reason why. The pass rusher from the University of Idaho was not invited to the Combine last year, but took the first step toward earning a place on the 53-man roster of the Super Bowl champion Seahawks because of his efforts at a regional combine.
That was last March, and his foot-in-the-door performance at Virginia Mason Athletic Center got Mayowa an invitation to the Seahawks’ rookie minicamp on a tryout basis … which got him signed to a contract … which got him to training camp … which gave him the opportunity to produce 3.5 sacks during the preseason … which made him a keeper when the team cut its roster to 53 players in late August.
“Man, I didn’t envision any of this,” Mayowa said during the process. “But when you work hard, it pays off. When you grind, people start noticing what you’re doing.”
Another regional combine will be conducted at VMAC on March 22-23, with the second day for kickers and punters.
The regional combines begin March 1 in Tampa at the Buccaneers’ facility. Others are scheduled for the Falcons’ facility in the Atlanta area (March 8-9), the Bears’ facility near Chicago (March 15), the Dolphins’ facility near Miami (March 22-23), the Colts’ facility in Indianapolis (March 29-30) and the Under Armour Performance Center in Baltimore (March 29-30).
The events are open to players eligible for the 2014 NFL Draft who did not attend the just-concluded Scouting Combine in Indianapolis; players eligible for a prior draft, but never signed a contract; and players with some pro playing experience, but who have been out of the game for a period of time.
The top performers at each regional combine will be invited to the super regional combine April 12-13 at Ford Field in Detroit.
For additional information, head to www.nflregionalcombines.com.