At the moment, NFL scouting departments can’t be sure they’re going to have anything to scout in the fall.
So as they prepare for the uncertainty, the premium is on being able to adapt.
Via Tom Silverstein of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, Packers General Manager Brian Gutekunst said his first priority is keeping his scouts on the road safe, at a time when travel is risky because of the COVID-19 pandemic.
The question then becomes what will they be looking, and when.
“As far as our scouting staff goes I think we’re kind of prepared on a number of different fronts to attack this,” Gutekunst said. “But I think we have to be very flexible, too, because things will change and we’re going to prepare.
“There’s going to be a draft, we’re going to have to acquire players, so we’re just going to have to do it a few different ways.”
With the status of games up in the air, Gutekunst can’t be sure he and his scouts will have games or practices to watch, and will spent more time on 2019 game film. The possibility of a spring season complicates that further, since many top prospects may skip that to prepare for the 2021 NFL Draft (currently scheduled for April 29-May 1).
He was asked if he could see the league holding more combines, perhaps in December, for players who opted out this year, and he didn’t rule it out.
“I wouldn’t be surprised at all if we got down to that December area where you might see something like that, different kind of combines or workouts we’ll be able to attend,” he said. “The work those guys are going to have to do from an evaluation aspect, and also the background information and all the character information we rely on those guys so much for, all that is still going to be required.
“So, they’re going to have their work cut out for them. They’re just going to have to do it in some different ways. But it’s all still going to have to be done before we get to the time next year when the draft is.”
And until the college game decides what it’s going to do, Gutekunst can’t be sure what his job will look like this fall either.