For those of you who haven’t watched the NFL Combine before, or for those of you who just don’t care to pay attention to it, here’s a breakdown of the different workouts that players participate to try and show off for the NFL teams.
- As discussed previously, the 40 isn’t really a strong indicator for NFL success. There really isn’t a more fun combine event though. You won’t see many players running 40 yards straight in an NFL game, but it’s designed to measure explosiveness and overall speed. It’s here to stay, so enjoy seeing guys try and prove that they are faster than the others at their position.
- Measuring a players quickness and ability to change direction, the 3-cone drill is at least decently pertinent to the NFL. A player starts at cone #1 runs five yards to cone #2 then back, back up and runs around cone #2, then weaves through cone #3 at the top of the ‘L’ before coming back to go around cone #2 and finish at cone #1. If that seemed confusing, here’s a video.
- The broad jump is another one of those drills you probably won’t use in a football game, but it makes for good TV. The player jumps from a standing position to land on both feet as far as they can. It measures your lower body strength and explosiveness and balance. If you’re just trying to “stick it” in the NFL, you sure as hell better be in the endzone.
- Squat and jump. Pretty straight forward, right? You get to do it twice to try and increase on the number of “flags” you hit on your first attempt. The real measurement here is how much power your lower body gives you. Your wingspan is already measured coming in, so it’s a test to see how much higher you can go as you reach up.
- 225 pounds, how many reps can you do? Justin Ernest’s record of 51 has stood since 1999. It’s pretty impressive since everyone is getting bigger and stronger these days.
- The short shuttle is used to evaluate a players change of direction and quickness. The player starts in the middle of a 10 yard distance, pushes off toward one direction, turns and goes the other way, then back to the middle. They travel a total distance of 20 yards. The 40 holds a bit more weight, but I like the shuttle more in terms of evaluation.
Put your armchair GM hat on and get ready to watch the combine, starting on the 23rd!
– Luke N. Sims
You can also find me on Twitter @LukeNSims