Ok, what is a combine? I think of it like those stupid drills we did in elementary school back in the day. Educators gauged us on if we were physically fit or not. If we were deemed “fit” you would get those tacky little sew-on patches and a certificate from the POTUS. The main difference between that and the Scouting Combine is you land a multi-million dollar contract if you can do things better than the other guys at the Combine. In short its a job interview. NFL.COM breaks down the work outs and drill for us measly peasants to understand in simple layman terms.
The 40-yard dash is the marquee event at the combine. It’s kind of like the 100-meters at the Olympics: It’s all about speed, explosion and watching skilled athletes run great times. These athletes are timed at 10, 20 and 40-yard intervals. What the scouts are looking for is an explosion from a static start.
The bench press is a test of strength — 225 pounds, as many reps as the athlete can get. What the NFL scouts are also looking for is endurance. Anybody can do a max one time, but what the bench press tells the pro scouts is how often the athlete frequented his college weight room for the last 3-5 years.
The vertical jump is all about lower-body explosion and power. The athlete stands flat-footed and they measure his reach. It is important to accurately measure the reach, because the differential between the reach and the flag the athlete touches is his vertical jump measurement.
The broad jump is like being in gym class back in junior high school. Basically, it is testing an athlete’s lower-body explosion and lower-body strength. The athlete starts out with a stance balanced and then he explodes out as far as he can. It tests explosion and balance, because he has to land without moving.
The 3 cone drill tests an athlete’s ability to change directions at a high speed. Three cones in an L-shape. He starts from the starting line, goes 5 yards to the first cone and back. Then, he turns, runs around the second cone, runs a weave around the third cone, which is the high point of the L, changes directions, comes back around that second cone and finishes.
The short shuttle is the first of the cone drills. It is known as the 5-10-5. What it tests is the athlete’s lateral quickness and explosion in short areas. The athlete starts in the three-point stance, explodse out 5 yards to his right, touches the line, goes back 10 yards to his left, left hand touches the line, pivot, and he turns 5 more yards and finishes.
Basic movements and excercises as it seems, a good Combine can seperate the lucky from the good. Sometimes even the good can get lucky and land their shot. Sometimes it exposes you for th far, slow fraud that you are. I feel this is a monumental oppertunity and one not to be taken lightly.
Last night I wrote on how some QB’s would not be throwing. This is a prime oppertunity for middle of the road quarterbacks to being their legend. It will be exciting times for sure in frigid Indianapolis.