Do any other sports do an NFL Combinestyle evaluation?
The NHL has a combine, much like the NFL’s.
The NBA has minicamps and individual team workouts, instead (with each team only drafting two players a year, the team needs to look at far fewer candidates).
The MLB drafts from just too large a talent pool to organize something like a combine.
The NBA has a pre-draft camp, where they do physical testing similar to the combine. The top 25-30 players don’t actually play at the camp, but pretty much everyone shows up and runs the physical testing drills.
I though the MLB draft was just for American citizens, with the South American prospects being just free agents.
That is the case. However, other major league sports draft from the ranks of college players. Those players have already been essentially vetted by the college scouting process. In the case of the MLB, you’re looking at a pool of every single high school baseball player, plus plenty of college players that weren’t drafted when they were in high school.
To give you some perspective on the number of players we’re looking at as draft potential:
NBA: 30 teams, 2 rounds: 60 players
NFL: 32 teams, 7 rounds: 224 players
NHL: 30 teams, 7 rounds: 210 players
MLB: 30 teams, 50 rounds: 1500 players
It makes sense now that I think about it; don’t the minor leagues get taken care of during the one draft as well? Well, my understanding is that all draftees go straight to the minors, but what I mean is that each franchise has to draft players for multiple teams.
It’s really just that America will support a heck of a lot more professional baseball players than any other sport. Or perhaps just that baseball players are more willing to be paid very low minor league salaries while waiting for a shot to join the majors.
This really is a crazy number. For perspective, there are 32 NFL teams with 53 players on the roster. So MLB is effectively drafting an entire NFL league.
The WNBA annually holds a Pre-Draft Camp in conjunction with the NCAA Women’s Final Four. This archived page provides a pre-camp overview of this past April’s event, plus a partial list of invitees.