What is the NFL Combine

It’s that time of year as the NFL Draft is getting close. Teams spent the fall scouting for top talent. Now, the best college football players are invited to the NFL Combine. Draft prospects go through a series of tests and evaluations in front of NFL general managers and scouts. So, what is the NFL Combine exactly? Here’s what you need to know.

Where and When is the National Football Scouting Combine

The NFL Combine begins on February 28, 2023. Also, it will continue until March 6, 2023. The event is in Indianapolis, Indiana. The potential draft prospects complete their evaluations at Lucas Oil Stadium. Exclusive coverage for the event is on NFL Network.

How the NFL Combine Works

The combine is a week-long event from the National Football League. It is at Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis. Players complete combine testing, NFL combine drills, and more to showcase their skills to NFL teams. The drills measure a player’s ability in several categories and can help improve the stock of potential draft picks.

NFL Scouting Combine Drills

Here’s a look at the drills and tests you can expect to see at the NFL Scouting Combine in Indianapolis.

Bench Press

The Bench Press is a drill that measures a player’s muscle strength and stamina. Players lift 225 pounds as many times as possible, showcasing their upper body strength.

This drill is especially important for offensive and defensive linemen. These positions are judged by strength and ability to dominate the line of scrimmage. It’s a combination of speed and power.

For example, Stephen Paea did 49 reps on the bench press back in 2011. The Chicago Bears drafted him in the 2nd round.

20-Yard Shuttle

The 20-yard Shuttle measures a player’s lateral movement and agility. The players run to evaluate their ability to change direction quickly, moving 5 yards in one direction and 10 yards in the opposite direction.

The 20-yard Shuttle is used to evaluate skill positions such as wide receivers, running backs, cornerbacks, and others. These positions need to change direction quickly to be effective.

60-Yard Shuttle

The 60-Yard Shuttle is another drill that measures a player’s lateral quickness and agility. The players run back and forth between cones set 5 yards apart, then 10 yards apart, and then 15 yards apart before finishing at the starting point.

It’s similar to the 20-yard shuttle. The drill evaluates agility, quickness, and lateral movement. It is important for skill players such as quarterbacks, running backs, receivers, etc.

40-Yard Dash

The 40-Yard Dash is one of the most famous drills in the NFL combine. This sprint measures a player’s speed as they run 40 yards as fast as possible. The drill measures pure speed.

This drill evaluates all players with extra pressure put on running backs, wide receivers, defensive backs, and quarterbacks.

John Ross clocked in at 4.22 back in 2017 which is the NFL Combine record. Other fast times include Chris Johnson’s 4.24 in 2008 and Dri Archer’s 4.26 in 2014. Quarterback Michael Vick ran a 4.33-second 40-yard dash. The Falcons drafted him number one overall in 2001.

In 2022, cornerback Kalon Barnes clocked in with a time of 4.23 seconds.

Vertical Jump

The Vertical Jump measures a player’s explosiveness and lower body strength. The players jump as high as they can. The measurement is taken from the highest point they reach.

Gerald Sensabaugh had a vertical jump of 46 inches back in 2005. The East Tennessee State safety was a former state long jump champion.

Broad Jump

The Broad Jump measures a player’s lower body explosion and power. The players jump as far as they can. The measurement is taken from the point where they take off to the back of their heels at the landing.

3 Cone Drill

The Three Cone Drill measures a player’s agility and ability to change direction quickly. Players run around three cones in a specific pattern, touching each cone before finishing at the starting point.

Cornerback Jordan Thomas had an impressive time of 6.28 seconds in 2018 which is the recent NFL Combine record.

Wonderlic Test

The Wonderlic Test evaluates problem-solving skills and decision-making. It’s a cognitive ability test that is given to players. The test has 50 questions and the players have 12 minutes to answer as many as possible. Quarterbacks get the most media buzz when it comes to scores on the test.

The only player known to get a perfect score was punter Pat McInally in 1975. Quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick recorded one of the highest scores ever. The Harvard grad scored a 48.

There is always plenty of talk about the lowest scores. Vince Young and Frank Gore reportedly scored a 6. The score didn’t matter much for Gore who went on to rush for 16,000 yards in his career.

Cybex Test

This is one of the more obscure and less talked about tests at the combine. The Cybex Test is a medical test that measures joint movement and muscle strength. The players are hooked up to a machine. It evaluates their range of motion and strength in various joints.

History of the NFL Combine

Tex Schramm, the president and GM of the Dallas Cowboys, proposed the idea. Before 1982, teams scheduled individual workouts with players. The first National Invitational Camp was in 1982 in Tampa, Florida.

It was changed to the NFL Combine in 1985. It was located in Arizona and New Orleans before moving to Indianapolis in 1987. The combine was originated by National Football Scouting Inc.

Wrap-Up: The NFL Combine

The top college prospects are hoping to gain national attention during the NFL Combine. They will be going through the evaluation in front of NFL player personnel and completing the comprehensive physical tests. Which players will showcase their abilities the best this year?

NFL teams will have a whole week to check out the NFL’s next big stars. For some, their draft stock will soar. It’s an important time leading up to the NFL Draft.

What is the NFL Combine FAQs

When is the NFL Combine?

The NFL Combine is on February 28, 2023. Players will be trying to prove their physical ability in front of scouts and team owners.

Where is the NFL Combine?

The NFL Draft Combine is held in the city of Indianapolis. It takes place at Lucas Oil Stadium. It has been in the city since 1987 and is expected to stay there for the next couple of years.

How many pounds is the bench press at the combine?

Players bench 225 lbs for as many reps as they can. Stephen Paea recorded 49 reps back in 2011.

Who has run the fastest 40-yard dash at the combine?

John Ross ran a 4.22 40-yard dash. The receiver from Washington posted the time back in 2017. Chris Johnson has the second-fastest time ever at 4.24 seconds.

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Sam hails from Grandville, Michigan. He has a rich sports background, including playing baseball at Central Michigan before covering high school sports and working with the Orlando Magic. He earned his broadcasting/journalism degree from Central Michigan University and was a member of the 2010 MAC Championship baseball team. Sam developed his expertise while working with Betsperts, Bleacher Nation, and 4for4 in various areas such as writing, social media, betting research, and business development. He's a big fan of the NBA, NFL, and MLB, highly interested in data and statistics.

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