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NFL gives green light for underclassmen to participate in All-Star games

The league announced that underclassmen will now be allowed to participate in All-Star games leading up to the NFL Draft.

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Good morning, Broncos Country.

Yesterday the NFL announced a major change to their pre-draft process that should bolster the opportunity for a lot of players leading up to the NFL Draft.

For years the All-Star games such as the Senior Bowl, East-West Shrine Bowl and HBCU Legacy Bowl only allowed senior prospects [or fourth-year juniors who had completed their degrees] to be a part of their festivities—but not anymore. That changed with the league sending out notices to every team declaring that underclassmen will now be eligible for those events. This change is effective immediately for players entering the 2024 NFL Draft.

I’m excited about this. It’s a change I’ve been hoping for a long time. It’ll help make those events a lot stronger and bring even better competition into the fold. Year in and year out, a lot of the top draft picks are underclassmen. I’d wager that some of them will forego the opportunity to participate but would expect a lot of them to grind it out if given the chance. Especially for many prospects with less exposure—this will undoubtedly help them wind up on the radars of scouts and general managers across the league.

Prior to this change being made, Pro Days and the NFL Combine were the major areas where most prospects could make a name for themselves outside of their play on the field during the season. Every team is at the NFL Combine, but a lot of teams miss out on guys because they can’t possibly be at every collegiate Pro Day going on.

Not only will it be beneficial for the prospects looking to get drafted, but it will also help teams get a better look at who's available and help with their pre-draft evaluation process. In my opinion, it’s a win-win for everyone involved and will help make the time leading up April’s draft each year a lot more fun.

What do you guys think? Are you excited about the change? Let me know in the comments section and give me your thoughts.

As always, thank you for reading. Here is a slate of stories for today’s edition of Horse Tracks.

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