Yesterday, the NFL released its list of 332 college players who are invited to travel to Indianapolis' Lucas Oil Stadium in two weeks to work out during the 2016 scouting combine. The event will take place from February 23 until February 29 and most of it will be broadcast live via NFL Network.
The list also includes seven players from New England schools:
DL Mehdi Abdesmad (Boston College)
TE Ben Braunecker (Harvard)
LB Steven Daniels (Boston College)
WR Tajae Sharp (Massachusetts-Amherst)
DB Justin Simmons (Boston College)
OL Cole Toner (Harvard)
DL Connor Wujciak (Boston College)
As can be seen above, Boston College received the most invitations of New England's colleges with four. Overall, 21 schools have received more than that – among them Ohio State with a nation-high 14 invitations.
Of course, the combine is just one piece of the pre-draft evaluation puzzle alongside pro days, college tape, team workouts and bowl games. Just because a player did not get invited does not mean he won't get drafted.
The Patriots, for example, have often invested in non-combine-invitees; their most recent selections include Julian Edelman, Sebastian Vollmer or Tavon Wilson. Neither of the three were invited but the team still valued them highly enough to spend draft picks – a valuable commodity – on them.