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2023 NFL Draft: Re-visiting rules of NFL official pre-draft top-30 visits

If you find yourself unfamiliar with the pre-draft visit process, read on to find out how it affects the Buffalo Bills

Buffalo Bills v New England Patriots Photo by Adam Glanzman/Getty Images

While we’ve discussed this topic in past years, it serves as a good reminder to re-visit the topic and share available information about the process of the NFL official pre-draft top-30 visits.

For NFL scouts and general managers, official pre-draft visits often represent the final piece of the puzzle in evaluating prospects ahead of the NFL Draft. While there are strict regulations that must be followed by teams for each of the official 30 pre-draft visitors, Buffalo Bills’ general manager Brandon Beane values getting to know a player’s “white-board” ability in these visits. As such, while NFL teams cannot conduct timed and other on-field tests, the Bills likely ask pre-draft visitors to complete off-field written tests, and conduct interviews and medical re-checks for any players previously flagged for such reason.

Given that each team can only conduct 30 official pre-draft visits, the meetings hold great importance. But teams host players for a multitude of reasons, some of which have little to do with their interest in the player being interviewed. While that may seem strange, sometimes prospects are brought in to provide insider information about certain college teammates in whom a team has interest. Other times, prospects are brought in as red herrings; by feigning interest in a certain player, teams conceal who they are truly interested in.

Of important note: Players who reside in a club’s home market can be timed, tested, and given a physical and do not count against the 30-player limit.

For the Buffalo Bills, prospects from colleges in the following counties are exempt from top-30 pre-draft rules:

  • Allegany, NY
  • Cattaraugus, NY
  • Chautauqua, NY
  • Erie, NY
  • Genesee, NY
  • Wyoming, NY
  • Niagara, NY
  • McKean, PA
  • Potter, PA