The NFL will host an International Combine in London for the first time. The start date is October 12, as the league announced on Tuesday.
The invitation event is designed to match the annual Scouting Combine that has been held in Indianapolis for the past few years and to help identify and evaluate potential talent for the National Football League (NFL). Up to 50 athletes are selected and tested. The venue is the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium.
“We are excited to host the International Combine in London next month,” said Damani Leech, the NFL Chief Operating Officer of International, in a statement: “Through the event, we hope to discover new talent, and the game to attract more global attention to give the participants a chance to compete at the highest level.”
For the athletes, it is a question of possibly getting a place in the International Pathway Program. Said program was launched in 2017 and aims to give top international athletes the chance to train at the NFL level, improve their skills and ultimately earn a place in an NFL squad. A well-known name from the program is fullback Jakob Johnson from Germany, who is currently in his third season with the New England Patriots.
Following the International Combine, a certain number of athletes who have achieved specific performance standards will be invited to train for three months in the USA as part of the International Pathway Program. The best from this program will then be assigned to NFL teams for the 2022 season.
Other names from the program who have made the leap to the NFL are Efe Obada (UK / Buffalo Bills), Jordan Mailata (Australia / Philadelphia Eagles) and Sammis Reyes (Chile / Washington).
The closed event is the third of its kind. Previously, the NFL held similar International Combines in Australia in 2018 and in Germany in 2019. There will also be an event in Mexico this October for athletes who were unable to travel to London due to travel restrictions.
The NFL International Combine will take place Oct. 12 at London’s Tottenham Hotspur Stadium, with select players advancing to train in the U.S. and potentially be allocated to NFL teams for the 2022 season. Another combine will be held later in October in Mexico. pic.twitter.com/kBQEziQCtR— Tom Pelissero (@TomPelissero) September 21, 2021
NFL International Combine: Twelve German players invited
In London there are also expected to be 14 players from the newly founded European League of Football (ELF) who have received an invitation.
“We are very happy for the players who have proven their quality in the first season of the European League of Football. It is also proof that our league has the highest sporting level in Europe,” said Commissioner Patrick Esume.
Three German offensive line players of the Frankfurt Galaxy were invited to the Combine, who will fight with their team on Sunday against the Hamburg Sea Devils for the title in the ELF. The largest delegation are the Leipzig Kings, who send four players to the Tottenham Hotspur stadium. A total of twelve German athletes are on the Combine list.