Share this article

print logo

Breaking down the NFL Combine drills

Each prospect at the combine is run through a series of seven measured drills. They are:

40-YARD DASH: The No. 1 metric that sticks with players from the combine, even though its relevance is widely debated. Teams are looking for players to fall within an anticipated range for their position. Outside the range – say, slower than 4.62 for a receiver or cornerback – is a red flag, although not always a disqualifier. Scouts put value on the first 10 yards (the 10-yard split) as an indicator of quick acceleration.

Fastest last 10 years: WR John Ross (Bengals) 4.22, 2017. Noteworthy Bills: Kelvin Benjamin 4.61. Tre'Davious White 4.47. Tyrod Taylor 4.51.

VERTICAL JUMP: Scouts value this drill as a gauge of lower-body explosiveness. The player leaps from a stationary position with feet side-by-side.

Best last 10 years: WR Chris Conley (Chiefs) 45 inches, 2015. Noteworthy Bills: Tyrod Taylor 37.5. Zay Jones 36.5.

BROAD JUMP: Another measure of lower-body explosiveness. Players stand behind a line with feet and shoulders square. If the player doesn't stick the landing with both feet, the jump is repeated.

Best last 10 years: S Byron Jones (Cowboys) 12 feet, 3 inches, 2015. Noteworthy Bills: Zay Jones 11-1. Matt Milano 10-6.

BENCH PRESS: Players must bench-press a 225-pound barbell as many repetitions as they can. But only a bad total, relative to the position, has even the slightest relevance. Players with shorter arms (not an advantage in football), have an edge since they have to raise the bar a shorter distance.

Best last 10 years: DT Stephen Paea (Cowboys) 49 reps, 2011. Noteworthy Bills: Richie Incognito 29 reps. Kyle Williams 32 reps.

3-CONE DRILL: Three cones are placed in a right-triangle alignment, each 5 yards apart. Think of an L. The player runs from the outside base cone to the middle base cone and back, then runs the perimeter of the L and back. It's a measure of lateral quickness, change of direction and flexibility.

Best last 10 years: WR Jeffrey Maehl (free agent) 6.42 seconds, 2011. Noteworthy Bills: Micah Hyde 6.78. Jerry Hughes 6.99.

20-YARD SHUTTLE: A measure of short-area quickness and ability to sink the hips. Three cones are placed 5 yards apart on a horizontal line. The player starts at the middle cone and runs to an outside cone, then 10 yards to the far cone, then 5 yards back to the middle. Jerry Hughes was sixth best among defensive linemen the past 10 years.

Best last 10 years: Brandin Cooks (Patriots) 3.81 seconds. Noteworthy Bills: Zay Jones 4.01. Jerry Hughes 4.15. Shaq Lawson 4.21.

60-YARD SHUTTLE: Three cones are placed 5, 10 and 15 yards apart. The player must run to each cone and back, totaling 60 yards. It's run by offensive skill position players, linebackers and defensive backs.

Best last 10 years: WR Shelton Gibson (Eagles) 10.71 seconds, 2017. Noteworthy Bills: Zay Jones 11.17. Charles Clay 11.82.

19 quarterbacks receive invitations to Scouting Combine

Story topics: /

There are no comments - be the first to comment