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For the first time, the NFL International Combine — the invitational scouting showcase, based on the annual NFL Scouting Combine — is headed to Germany. The event will discover and evaluate potential NFL talent from around the world. Up to 50 athletes will take part in a series of tests in front of NFL evaluators at Sportschule Hennef, a sports training facility outside of Cologne, on Oct. 19.
Athletes will participate in speed, agility, strength and skill-based tests designed to evaluate whether they’re suited for a possible spot in the NFL’s International Player Pathway program.
Following the Combine, the athletes who meet specific performance standards and display the potential to play in the NFL will be invited to train in the United States for three months.
“Following 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 and are 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.
Instituted in 2017, the NFL International Player Pathway Program provides international athletes the opportunity to compete at the NFL level, improve their skills and potentially earn a spot on an NFL roster. For the 2019 NFL season, eight teams will carry an additional overseas player on their practice squads as part of the program.
The players joining AFC East clubs for the 2019 season include:
Four participants from 2018 will return to their AFC North teams for the upcoming season, including:
International Player Pathway Program Participants Currently on NFL Rosters:
Jordan Mailata, Tackle (Australia), Philadelphia Eagles
Mailata, a Samoan-born Australian former professional rugby league player for the South Sydney Rabbitohs and a past program participant, was drafted in the seventh round of the 2018 NFL Draft by the Philadelphia Eagles (making him ineligible for the 2019 International Player Pathway Program). After converting to football full time early in 2018, the 6’8”, 350-pound tackle impressed NFL scouts at various workouts with his strength, footwork and athleticism. Mailata continued his football journey as the youngest player on the Eagles roster during the 2018 season.
Efe Obada, Defensive End (UK), Carolina Panthers
Obada was raised in London after moving from the Netherlands when he was 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 practice squad. He has since spent time with 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, one-interception performance.