From the Branch


Breaking Down the 6 Different Combine Drills

Posted Feb 22, 2016

Throughout this week's combine, NFL Draft hopefuls will participate in a variety of drills that can greatly impact their future careers. Here's a look at the events everyone will participate in.

40-Yard Dash: The combine’s most popular event, the 40-yard dash is used to evaluate a player’s vertical speed and first-step explosiveness. While it doesn’t tell evaluators much about linemen, it’s a good barometer of how fast skill position players can be. Chris Johnson posted the fastest 40 at the Combine in 2008, when he ran it in 4.24 seconds.

Broad Jump: A test of an athlete’s lower-body strength, explosion and balance the broad jump involves leaping from a standing position without the luxury of a running start. In 2015, Byron Jones set a new mark in the broad jump by leaping 12 feet, three inches.

3-Cone Drill: An exercise that shows how an athlete changes directions and how agile he is, the 3-cone drill requires prospects to maneuver three cones set five yards apart in an L shape. In 2011, Jeffrey Maehl earned the fastest combine 3-cone drill at 6.42 seconds.

Shuttle Run: Used to evaluate agility and lateral movement, the 20-yard shuttle run forces players to run five yards to the right, 10 yards to the left and five yards to the right again. Jason Allen set the fastest shuttle run in 2006, when he ran it in 3.81 seconds.

Vertical Jump: The vertical jump shows how high a player can leap. It tells a lot about lower-body strength, too, since participants have to launch upwards from a standing position. Chris Conley set a new best in the vertical jump in 2015, when he touched 45 inches.

Bench Press: The bench press is used to measure upper-body strength. It’s especially important for linemen—in particular those who didn’t play against top competition in college. Stephen Paea set the combine record for bench press reps in 2011, when he reached 49.