Next week, Redskins brass will descend upon Indianapolis in the hopes of finding more information about the players they have been scrutinizing on film for the past several months. The various drills at the NFL Combine offer such an opportunity.
In our continued coverage of the NFL Combine, The Redskins Blog takes a look back at some of the best workout performances dating back to 2006.
Below is a quick summary of the various drills that prospects will and have gone through via NFL.com along with the top performer in each category:
The 40-yard dash is the marquee event at the combine. It’s similar to the 100-meters at the Olympics: It’s all about speed, explosion and watching skilled athletes run great times. These athletes are timed at 10, 20 and 40-yard intervals. What the scouts are looking for is an explosion from a static start.
Top Performer: Chris Johnson, 2008, 4.24 seconds
2016 Top Performer: Keith Marshall: 4.31 seconds
The bench press is a test of strength — 225 pounds, as many reps as the athlete can get. What the NFL scouts are also looking for is endurance. Anybody can do a max one time, but what the bench press tells the pro scouts is how often the athlete frequented his college weight room for the last three to five years.
Top Performer: Stephen Paea, 2011, 49 reps
2016 Top Performer: Christian Westerman, 34 Reps
The vertical jump is all about lower-body explosion and power. The athlete stands flat-footed and his reach is measured. It is important to accurately measure the reach, because the differential between the reach and the flag the athlete touches is his vertical jump measurement.
Top Performer: Donald Washington, 2009, and Chris Conley, 2015, 45"
2016 Top Performer: Daniel Lasco and Jalen Ramsey, 41.5"
The broad jump is like being in gym class back in junior high school. Basically, it is testing an athlete’s lower-body explosion and lower-body strength. The athlete starts out with a stance balanced and then he explodes out as far as he can. It tests explosion and balance, because he has to land without moving.
Top Performer: Byron Jones, 2015, 12’3”
2016 Top Performer: *Daniel Lasco and Jalen Ramsey, 11’3" *
The three cone drill tests an athlete’s ability to change directions at a high speed. Three cones in an L-shape. He starts from the starting line, goes five yards to the first cone and back. Then, he turns, runs around the second cone, runs a weave around the third cone, which is the high point of the L, changes directions, comes back around that second cone and finishes.
Top Performer: Jeff Maehl, 2011, 6.42 seconds
2016 Top Performer: Devon Cajuste, 6.49 seconds
The short shuttle is the first of the cone drills. It is known as the 5-10-5. What it tests is the athlete’s lateral quickness and explosion in short areas. The athlete starts in the three-point stance, explodes out 5 yards to his right, touches the line, goes back 10 yards to his left, left hand touches the line, pivot, and he turns 5 more yards and finishes.
Top Performer (20 yards): Jason Allen, 2006, 3.81 seconds
2016 Top Performer (20 yards): Justin Simmons, 3.85 seconds
Top Performer (60 yards): Brandin Cooks, 2014, 10.72 seconds
2016 Top Performer (60 yards): Justin Simmons and Braxton Miller, 10.84 seconds