INTERNATIONAL COMBINE HEADS TO GERMANY
The NFL International Combine is headed to Germany for
the first time.
The invitational scouting showcase, mirrored after the
annual NFL Combine staged in the United States, is designed to discover and
evaluate potential NFL talent from around the globe. Up to 50 athletes will be selected to go through
a series of tests in front of NFL evaluators at Sportschule Hennef, a sports
training facility outside of Cologne, on October 19.
Athletes will participate in a range of speed,
agility, strength and skill-based tests, each designed to assess the athlete’s
suitability to play in the NFL.
Participants will be evaluated for a possible spot in the NFL’s
International Player Pathway program.
Following the Combine, a select number of athletes who
meet specific performance standards and display the potential to play in the
NFL, will be invited to train in the US for 3 months.
last year’s inaugural International Combine in Australia, we are excited to
explore the talent pool internationally,” said Damani Leech, NFL Chief
Operating Officer of International. “Since 2017, the NFL’s International
Player Pathway program has provided international athletes the opportunity to
compete at the NFL level and develop their skills, and we hope to discover new
talent through this event in Germany.”
All participants must meet NFL eligibility
requirements. Participants are also required to have citizenship outside the
United States or Canada. Interested athletes should send a detailed description
of their athletic career along with any video highlights to InternationalCombine@nfl.com.
International Player Pathway Program background:
Instituted in 2017, the program aims to provide
international athletes the opportunity to compete at the NFL level, improve
their skills, and ultimately earn a spot on an NFL roster. For the upcoming
2019 NFL season, eight teams will carry an additional overseas player on their
practice squads as part of the International Player Pathway program.
Joining AFC East clubs for the 2019 season are:
Valentine Holmes (New York Jets), a former professional rugby player in
Australia, Jakob Johnson (New England Patriots), a former University of
Tennessee tight end and German Football League player, Durval Queiroz Neto
(Miami Dolphins), who played football in Brazil, and Christian Wade (Buffalo
Bills), a former England national rugby player.
four players that participated in the program in 2018 will return to their AFC
North teams for the upcoming season. These players are: Moritz Böhringer (Cincinnati Bengals), who was originally drafted in the
sixth round by the Minnesota Vikings in 2016, German Football League player
Christopher Ezeala (Baltimore Ravens), former British American Football League
player Tigie Sankoh (Cleveland Browns) and former English professional rugby
player Christian Scotland-Williamson (Pittsburgh Steelers).
Player Pathway Program Participants Currently on NFL Rosters:
Mailata, Tackle (Australia), Philadelphia Eagles
The 2018 NFL Draft
culminated an exciting time for Mailata, a past program participant. The
Samoan-born Australian former professional rugby league player for the South
Sydney Rabbitohs was drafted in the seventh round by the Philadelphia Eagles (thereby
making him ineligible for the International Player Pathway Program).
Converted to football full-time early in 2018, the 6-8, 350-pounder impressed
NFL scouts at various workouts with his strength, footwork and athleticism, and
continued his football journey with the Eagles during the 2018 season as the
youngest player on their roster.
Obada, Defensive End (UK), Carolina Panthers
was raised in London after arriving from the Netherlands at age 10. He
signed as a free agent for the Dallas Cowboys in 2015 after playing only five
games of amateur football with the London Warriors. He played in the preseason
for the Cowboys and spent part of the 2015 season on the club's practice squad.
He has since had spells on the rosters of the Kansas City Chiefs and Atlanta
Falcons before joining the Carolina Panthers practice squad as part of the 2017
International Player Pathway Program. In 2018, Obada become the first player
from the NFL International Pathway program to make a 53-man roster. In
Week 3 against the Cincinnati Bengals, Obada played his first regular season
game, earning NFC Defensive Player of the Week honors for his one-sack,
Contact: Darlene Capiro, NFL, 212-450-2175, Darlene.Capiro@nfl.com