2023 CFL Combine expanded to five-day event, will include full practice sessions

Photo courtesy: CFL

The Canadian Football League is making major structural changes to the way they will evaluate prospects for the 2023 CFL Draft.

On Thursday, the league announced that an expanded and restructured CFL Combine will take place at the Commonwealth Stadium Field House in Edmonton from March 22 to 26, featuring approximately 100 national and global prospects.

The new five-day event will include the traditional first two days of medical checks, measurements and athletic testing, followed by three days of on-field practice. The individual drills and one-on-ones that have been conducted in years past will remain but several new evaluation components will be added, including the pass skeleton and inside run sessions. CFL coaches will lead positional groups and install offences and defences as part of the new format.

“For the past few years, we have been exploring different ways to restructure and improve the format of CFL Combine to be more productive for teams in terms of evaluation and observation. Our event next year in Edmonton will be the realization of those efforts and discussions,” said the CFL’s chief football operations officer Greg Dick in a statement.

“A single larger event will allow teams to gauge prospects’ work on the field, while also providing a better understanding of their abilities to learn systems, process information and adapt to feedback.”

The league is also doing away with the traditional set of three Regional Combines, which have catered to under-the-radar prospects from the West, Ontario, and East regions. Instead, a single invitational Super Regional Combine will be held at the University of Waterloo’s Feridun Hamdullahpur Field House in early March which will include players from across Canada. The top players identified from Waterloo will earn their way to the main event in Edmonton.

The CFL is also introducing a specialized Kicking Combine to take place in January in San Diego, California.

“CFL Combine is as much a tool for evaluation, as it is a showcase of prospects’ skills and an opportunity for growth and development,” added Dick. “An expanded event is better for teams, prospects, and ultimately, the league, as we prepare to welcome future generations of CFL stars.”