The annual NFL Combine takes place in Indianapolis from Feb. 26 to March 4. The first few days of the combine are more behind the scenes, as players go through medical check-ins, measurements and the more bureaucratic procedures. The combine drills and medai sessions, the fun stuff, then takes place from Thursday through Monday.
There are six events that most every player participating complete at the combine. Prospects will do a lot more than six events though, as there are also position specific workouts that are done throughout the weekend. The main six events are the ones that typically help a player gain more traction heading into the NFL Draft, or could subsequently cause their stock to plummet.
Here's a look at them all.
The 40-yard dash is the most famous drill that takes place at the combine. The concept is simple, as the prospect sprints down the sideline for 40 yards and scouts look for the player's explosion, burst and acceleration. The 40-yard dash is timed in three different intervals, 10, 20 and 40 yards, as each interval gives the scouts more information about prospect’s speed.
Top 5 40-yard dashes at the NFL Combine:
1. John Ross, 2017: 4.22 seconds
2. Chris Johnson, 2008: 4.24 seconds
2. Rondel Menendez, 1999: 4.24 seconds
4. Jerome Mathis, 2005: 4.26 seconds
4. Dri Archer, 2014: 4.26 seconds
The three-cone drill is used by scouts to measure a prospect’s ability to shift directions at a high speed. The drill has three cones lined up in an L shape and the player will start from the high point of the L. He will run from the high point to the middle cone, then back up to the high point before running to the middle cone then the furthest cone. From the furthest cone, the prospect then runs back to the middle cone and up to the high cone.
Top 5 three-cone drills at the NFL Combine:
1. Jordan Thomas, 2018: 6.28 seconds
2. Jeff Maehl, 2011: 6.42 seconds
3. Buster Skrine, 2011: 6.44 seconds
4. Scott Long, 2010: 6.45 seconds
4. Sedrick Curry, 2000: 6.45 seconds
The shuttle run also tests a prospects ability to change direction at high speed but also lets scouts get an up-close view of the prospects lateral quickness. The shuttle run is also referred to as the 5-10-5 drill, as the prospect sprints five yards before changing his direction and running back 10 yards before sprinting through the final five yards.
Top 5 shuttle runs at the NFL Combine:
1. Kevin Kasper, 2001: 3.73 seconds
2. Deion Branch, 2002: 3.76 seconds
3. Dunta Robinson, 2004: 3.78 seconds
4. Champ Bailey, 1999: 3.79 seconds
5. Brandin Cooks, 2014: 3.81 seconds
The vertical jump tests the prospects length, lower body extension and power. The test is very simple, as evident by its name. The prospect stands flat-footed before leaping up and slapping a measurement tool which shows how high the players vertical jump was.
Top 5 vertical jumps at the NFL Combine:
1. Gerald Sensabaugh, 2005: 46 inches
2. Derek Wake, 2005: 45 ½ inches
3. Chris Conley, 2015: 45 inches
3. Donald Washington, 2009: 45 inches
3. Chris McKenzie, 2005: 45 inches
The Broad jump also measures a prospects lower body extension and power, but also their lower body explosion. The broad jump starts with the prospect flat-footed before they leap out in front of them. The drill also tests balance, as the prospect cannot move once they land their jump.
Top 5 broad jumps at the NFL combine:
1. Byron Jones, 2015: 12 feet and 3 inches
2. Obi Melifonwu, 2017: 11 feet and 9 inches
3. Chris Conley, 2015: 11 feet and 7 inches
3. Jamie Collins, 2013: 11 feet and 7 inches
5. Bud Dupree, 2015: 11 feet and 6 inches
The bench press is a way for the scouts to get an up close and in person view of a prospect's strength. The bench bar is set at 225 pounds and the objective of the prospect is to do as many repsof the bar as he can.
Top 5 bench presses at the NFL combine:
1. Justin Ernest, 1999: 51 reps
2. Stephen Paea, 2011: 49 reps
3. Mitch Petrus, 2010: 45 reps
3. Mike Kudla, 2006: 45 reps
3. Leif Larsen, 2000: 45 reps