Undrafted players from 2020 to attend rookie minicamp in 2021?

As mentioned multiple times on The Draft Insiders podcast, there is a void of talent in the 2021 NFL Draft that will primarily affect Day 3 of the draft, as well as players signed after the draft. If you need further confirmation, consider that the number of draft-eligible players who have signed with an agent prior to this year’s draft is almost three times less than the average number from years past. To combat the lack of talent available, could the NFL consider inviting previously undrafted free-agent players to rookie minicamps in 2021?

Many potential undrafted players in 2021 have chosen to take up the extra year of eligibility

The reasons are obvious, as I’ve pointed out time and time again. Hundreds of seniors who would have received draftable grades or would have signed as free agents after the draft has taken up the NCAA’s offer (or as will be the case at the FCS level, will take up the NCAA’s offer) to return to the college field for a second senior season.

As a result, there is a mild concern in the league that there may not be enough players to fill rosters for rookie minicamps, which are scheduled to take place this year.

Could undrafted players from the 2020 NFL Draft be invited to NFL rookie minicamps in 2021?

I’m told that one alternative to make sure enough players are available for rookie minicamps is to allow players who were not drafted in the 2020 NFL Draft, many of whom did not really get a fair shake due to the cancelation of so many workouts and team activities prior to the opening of camp last August, to attend rookie minicamps this year.

At this point, I’m told it’s just an idea being thrown around, but it’s an idea everyone seems to like. It will help teams fill the void if they cannot find enough quality players to sign after this year’s draft and give undrafted players who did not get a fair shake last year — through no fault of their own — another opportunity to make a roster in some form.

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Tony Pauline is the Chief Draft Analyst for Pro Football Network. You can read all of Tony’s work here and give him a follow on Twitter: @TonyPauline