Broncos GM George Paton faces new challenges in NFL draft with opt-outs, no Combine

New Broncos general manager George Paton took a pragmatic view when asked about the task of preparing for this spring’s NFL draft without a normal Scouting Combine or in-person prospect visits: Deal with it.

That will be Paton’s mandate to the scouting staff he inherited as the coronavirus pandemic rolls past the one-year mark in March.

No combine to have a first meeting with players?

“We’re going to need better background,” Paton said.

Judging a prospect that didn’t play in 2020?

“I’m going to put that on the college staff and we’re going to have to dig and they’re going to have to dig deeper than they’ve ever dug,” Paton said.

Multiple Pro Days around the country on the same day?

“I think we need to determine how we’re going to separate ourselves from the other 31 teams,” Paton said.

On Monday, the NFL announced the traditional combine in Indianapolis, the hub of the pro football world each late February/early March, would be nixed. The league will send recommended drills and testing procedures to college programs for their annual Pro Days. Medical information will be shared with each team. And pre-draft workouts at team facilities are canceled for a second consecutive year.

“Last year, at least we had the combine,” Paton said. “The good thing is, it’s a level playing field and 31 other teams are going through the same thing.”

Both the Broncos and Paton’s Vikings made it work…

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