Friday, February 26, 2010

COMBINE 101: NFL COMBINE FOR DUMMIES--Now watch the combine with a purpose!

After you read this you can watch the combine with a purpose.

Besides the fact that football season is over, the 2010 NFL Combine is the closest football action you will get to seeing NFL on TV. The NFL Combine in Lucas Oil Stadium, Indianapolis (formerly RCA Dome) leads us into the Draft in April, which will lead you into mini-camps, then pre-season camp, then finally to the 2010 NFL season. The NFL Combine is where you can get a first hand look and a ton of insight on next years’ rookie superstars.

The NFL Combine is hands down the most coveted order of events for evaluating the best college talent. Im sure you have heard and if you have not, it is a serious grind of mind and matter. It is the first time the all of the top college players can be seen competing as individuals in center stage in front of the 32 teams in the NFL. It is basically a job interview. The spectators at this venue include NFL coaches, general managers, and scouts. About 300+ the college footballs’ top prospects are put through rigorous testing both mentally and physically all a part of an inexact science of predicting the next NFL star for their respective organizations.

Watch you want don't want to miss on television and the most exciting part is the physical testing. Participants at the combine are put through intense physical testing ranging from the bench press, broad jump, 40 yard dash, 60 yard shuttle, 3 cone drill, 20 yard shuttle, and vertical jump. I am going to share with you some important physical testing along with the results to look for that will either rise or drop the stock of some of the participants trying to improve their NFL Draft status. So what I have written up below is the test followed by approximated results that NFL teams would like to see by position. (Some of the desired results will vary based on the height and weight of each positional participant.)

Bench Press- under the guidance of a Strength and Conditioning coach (usually a representative from one of the NFL teams) participants attempts to lift 225lbs as many times as they can. This drill measures upper body strength.
NFL MAGIC NUMBERS BY POSITION: QB, WR, DB: 10-20reps… LB, RB: 15-25… OL,DL: 20-30reps. (The closer the position gets to the 2nd number the more impressive)

Broad Jump- participants must stand still and are measured how far they can jump forward from point A to point B, measuring explosive power from a stationary position.
NFL MAGIC NUMBERS: QB,WR,DB: 9ft0in-10+ft… LB,RB,TE: 8ft6in-9ft6in… OL,DL: 8ft-9ft. (The closer the position gets to the 2nd number the more impressive)

40 yard dash- participants take part in an all out sprint from a down position for a distance measuring 40yards. This test how fast an athlete can get from point A to point B, and also measures top speed endurance.
NFL MAGIC NUMBERS: QB: 4.9-4.5… WR,DB: 4.7-4.3… LB,RB,TE: 4.8-4.5… OL: 5.2-4.8…DL: 4.9-4.6 (The closer the participant gets to the 2nd number or beyond the more impressive)

Vertical Jump- similar to the Broad Jump, participants must stand still and jump straight up measuring how far they can jump up off the ground, measuring explosive power from a stationary position.
NFL MAGIC NUMBERS: QB: 25-31in…WR, DB: 31-45in… LB,TE: 30-37in…RB: 30-40in… OL,DL: 24-30in. (The closer the participant gets to the 2nd number or beyond the more impressive)

(The following 3 test below don't hold as much weight as the one's above)
20 Yard Shuttle- participants are measured by their quickness when changing direction from point A to point B.

3 Cone Drill- similar to the 20yard shuttle, participants ability to fluidly change of direction is measured

60 yard shuttle- participants are tested in speed and endurance.

Starting Saturday, watch it live from February 27th-March 2nd. It will be more interesting now that you know what you are looking for!?!


  1. Come this time of year, I am always reminded of how the eagles took Mike Mamula, b/c of his freakish results in the combine. He was awesome, right!
    I would still take the player with the better game tape 9 out of 10 times. You know cause there are still those Peter Warricks out there, to avoid.

  2. Big Whistle,
    Don't be fooled by numbers alone , there has been a lot of money lost and gained in what has become nothing more than a glorified PE test.Film don't lie, if you can play it'll be on film ,plus the individual pro days prove to be more of an actual weighted test anymore by GM's and personnel people because the players are in a familiar environment. F*%& Mel Kiper

  3. Coach Dove - Football GeniousMarch 2, 2010 at 1:09 PM

    Well Birdman to be honest I truly feel the hype behind the combine is absurd. Game tape, interview, and position specific drills at individual team workouts and pro - day are more important.

    I wanna no how smooth my DB comes out of his backpedal, and how explosive that WR comes out of his break. I wanna know how well my MLB and QB can break down strategy and formation weaknesses. I wanna know if my RB is gonna keep his feet moving, if that SS OLB is gonna drive through the tackle. If that lineman is as smart as he is tough. I wanna know how that player uses angles on the field to accomplish greatness. Who is hungry, not who could afford training/coaching on a specific test.

    The 40 is fun, but really how many times do you run 40yds on a field in a complete straight line at top speed with no adjustments to be made....never. Bench press, come on who cares you tackle, break tackles and block with your feet, body position, and hips primarily. Vertical....(that one is practical at least for WR and DB's) Broad jump, that sounds good to measure explosiveness, but jumping forward is a totally different skill set than running through a tackle. And i could do this on and on and on.

    Lets just look at a few of the NFL's greats.
    Tom Brady, Jerry Rice, Steve Smith, Chad Johnson, Troy Polomahu, Herchel Walker, Emmitt Smith, Terrell Davis......and the list goes on. These players may not have been the best testers at the combine, but they shut the world up when that whistle blows.

    Give me film, live practice against great players (senior week), and interveiws and i could build a better team than anyone that goes off of combine performances.