The NFL had to do away with the combine this year, in response to COVID and it couldn't have been better for ESPN. But also shines a light on exactly how pointless the "pro day" really is. Any top prospect for the NFL should refuse any pro day. Yes, it's a tradition. Yes, we've been doing it for years. The combine, the pro day, it's time to say goodbye. Very few of the nation's top prospects have seen their draft stock increase dramatically because they had a good pro day. In fact, there are arguments to be made that a pro day can do more harm than good to your draft stock.
Getting a look at how you perform, on an empty field, with nobody else in your way is not an indicator of your ability to play the game. Yes it gives scouts a few extra looks at your mechanics, maybe they can pick up on some nuances that may favor your career, but overall, it does nothing.
If I was an NFL team, I would only send scouts to the pro days of players I know my team would face so we can pick up on any tendencies or tells they might have. But even then, we've got to expect that after OTAs, pre-season, practice and more, those would be flushed out. If you're not already sold on the person you're going to pick, knowing exactly how high their highest ever in life jump, or best bench press is, isn't going to turn the page for you.
All in all, it's another TV show the NFL is putting out for us, and we are soaking it up.
Here are some of the responses on twitter from recent pro day performances.