Because of California's strict COVID-19 regulations, there has been fear among the state's college football programs and NFL talent evaluators that those schools might not be able to host pro days where NFL prospects can showcase their talents in front of scouts.
At least one big program in the state has found a possible workaround if their pro day is cancelled.
Stanford is hoping it can host its pro day on March 18 on its campus, and school officials are hopeful that can happen with the state moving in the right direction with COVID cases on the decline.
But sources told Yahoo Sports that Stanford has two fascinating failsafes if that doesn't happen.
The backup plan would be for Stanford to make the 40-something mile trek to the campus of its rival, Cal, to join up with their pro day. (California restrictions are segmented by counties. Cal is in Alameda County and Stanford is in Santa Clara County.)
The unexpected third option? Stanford prospects could make an even longer trip to Fort Worth, Texas to join up with TCU's pro day, which is scheduled for March 19.
Originally, TCU was Stanford's out-of-state contingency plan. Stanford director of communications Scott Swegan told Yahoo Sports that just a few weeks ago, the TCU option appeared to be the most likely plan. But with recent improvements and increased hope, there's a feeling that Stanford won't have to make such a long trip.
Although California lifted its stay-at-home orders in late January, many restrictions still exist across the state. In Santa Clara County, many businesses remain closed — including higher education and gyms — as it remains in the "purple" tier, which is the highest COVID-restriction level.
Dropping one level to the red tier might be needed for Stanford to host its pro day. The athletic department has moved its weight room outdoors, but there's still the question of what modifications the school might have to make and what exemptions can be granted to pull off the event.
Stanford football players are scheduled to return to the area this weekend to begin their 10-day quarantine. Then “winter” workouts will commence in early March.
Stanford has a number of intriguing NFL prospects who could use additional draft exposure, including QB Davis Mills, OT Walker Little, WR Simi Fehoko and C Drew Dalman. The Pac-12 suspended football activities until November, and the Cardinal were limited to six games this fall, with a seventh contest against Washington State cancelled.
For some Stanford players, their pro-day workout could hold serious weight in their eventual draft stock.
Mills had only 11 college starts before declaring for the 2021 NFL draft. Little played 72 snaps in the 2019 season opener before suffering a torn ACL and missing the remainder of that season, and he chose to opt out in 2020 before declaring for the 2021 draft.
TCU also has some intriguing talent as well, including S Trevon Moehrig (a possible top-40 selection), LB Garret Wallow, S Ar'Darius Washington, WR J.D. Spielman and CB Noah Daniels.
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