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What To Look For During The Drills
The NFL Combine is an exciting time for football fans. It is the first look for NFL teams and fans to get an idea of the athleticism of their favorite prospects. While the numbers players put up in the drills do not always transpose directly to the field, it gives scouts a chance to either confirm or deny what they are seeing on tape.
If a prospect runs a much faster 40 yard dash time than expected, scouts will typically go back and watch the tape to find evidence of this on film. Inversely, if there is a prospect that scouts view as a “deep threat” or has “home-run speed” and that player runs a slow 40, they may also look at this prospects tape closer with that in mind.
Each drill works in this way to test different levels of athleticism. Teams also put different levels of emphasis on each drill depending on the position the prospect plays. The 40 yard dash can be quite important for running backs and not very important for lineman. However, what is the more important aspect of this drill for both positions is their “ten yard split” numbers. This is the amount of time it takes for the prospect to get from their running stance to ten yards. The ten yard split is measured during the 40 yard dash drill.
This measurement is very important for evaluating explosiveness and burst. While the bench press is not the most important drill, it is a good measure of upper body strength. However, shorter arm players tend to do better at this drill because they have less range they have to extend the weights to. So the results should not be a comparison of strength between two prospects.
The three cone drill and the shuttle run both test a players agility and acceleration for running backs. This drill can also be important for lineman who are asked to move in space like they are in Detroit.
The vertical jump and the broad jump are used as measurements of max jumping capacity. This drill is not as important for lineman or running backs as the other drills but could serve as another evaluation of athleticism for teams and scouts to use.
Notable Prospects’ Combine Results
11:41 am: OSU OT Pat Elfein stands out in the first o-line group with very fluid with his feet and hips in o-line drills
11:49 am: Western Kentucky OL Forest Lamp put up an impressive 34 reps on the bench press
12:07 pm: LSU RB Leonard Fournette weighed in heavier than expected at 240 lbs
12:11 pm: TCU OT Aviante Collins ran a sub 4.80 40 yard dash (Unofficial)
12:13 pm: Western Kentucky OL Forest Lamp ran a 4.99 40 yard dash, 1.76 10 yard split (Unofficial)
12:20 pm: Alabama OL Cam Robinson ran a 5.15 40 yard dash, 1.78 10 yard split (Unofficial)
12:21 pm: Wayne State OG Nate Theaker looking very smooth through o-line drills
12:23 pm: LSU RB Leonard Fournette posted a 28 1/2″ vertical jump (RB Average is about 34″)
1:26 pm: LSU RB Leonard Fournette ran a 4.51 40 yard dash (Unofficial)
1:31 pm: Tennessee RB Alvin Kamara ran a 4.53 40 yard dash (Unofficial)
1:33 pm: Stanford RB Christian McCaffrey ran a 4.49 40 yard dash (Unofficial)
1:44 pm: BYU RB Jamaal Williams ran a 4.60 40 yard dash (Unofficial)
1:46 pm: UNC RB TJ Logan ran a 4.37 40 yard dash (Unofficial)
2:18 pm: Fournette, McCaffrey, and Kamara stand out from the crowd going through RB drills.
2:18 pm: Oklahoma RB Samaje Perine runs a 4.66 40 yard dash (unofficial) and put up 30 reps on the bench press (led all RBs)