ORCHARD PARK, NY - SEPTEMBER 25: Fred Jackson #22 of the Buffalo Bills celebrates a big gain leading to a first down late in the fourth quarter during NFL game action against the New England Patriots at Ralph Wilson Stadium on September 25, 2011 in Orchard Park, New York. (Photo by Tom Szczerbowski/Getty Images)
The NFL has announced that beginning in late January of 2012, the league will conduct eight regional scouting combines around the country as a supplement to the annual NFL Scouting Combine held in Indianapolis. The first of these regional combines will take place in Los Angeles on January 28, 2012.
Per the league's press release, after the eight regional combines are conducted, outstanding performers will be invited to a Super Regional Combine in Detroit, where they'll have a chance to work out in front of currently employed NFL scouts at the end of March next year - just a few weeks before the 2012 NFL Draft.
This initiative gives three different types of players a shot at NFL glory: incoming rookies not invited to the combine, any player with experience playing college ball looking to gauge their pro prospects, and former professionals that have been away from the game.
On the surface, this seems like a ratings ploy for the NFL Network in the off-season, and sort of like a reality show. That's what it will seem like to many, I imagine. If, however, this initiative can discover talents like Fred Jackson - who had to wait until he was 25 years old to get his shot in the NFL - the pomp and circumstance may be worth it.
Would you watch a regional combine like this on television (assuming you had NFLN, of course)?