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Pre-draft visit primer: trends, rules, information to know

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Everything you need to know about the pre-draft visit process

After scouting every 2018 NFL prospect, attending their games, seeing them at the Senior Bowl, and timing them at the NFL Combine, the final step in the draft process is to bring in certain prospects on pre-draft visits. These visits provide Buffalo Bills general manager Brandon Beane and his cadre of scouts a chance to get to know prospects a little better.

Pre-draft visitors to One Bills Drive are likely subjected to another round of off-the-field testing as well as medical re-checks for players that have been flagged. There are strict regulations that must be followed.

“Each team may transport a maximum of 30 draft-eligible players to the team’s home city or another location for a one-day physical examination. These players cannot be timed and tested. Interviews and written tests may be conducted during the visit.”

Each team is only allowed 30 such visits and while they are important, teams can use them for a variety of reasons. Sometimes, prospects are there to provide insider information about certain college teammates. Other times, prospects are brought in as red herrings; by feigning interest in a certain player, teams conceal who they are truly interested in.

With former GM Doug Whaley, pre-draft visits were somewhat predictive of which prospects the Bills were targeting in the draft. While Brandon Beane’s tendencies are more unknown, last year, of the Bills 14 confirmed visitors, only one, Nathan Peterman, was eventually drafted by the team. Another, Marcus Sayles, was brought in as an undrafted free agent.

Stick with us here at Buffalo Rumblings to keep track of who’s visiting the Bills this off season.