NFL Draft Combine Testing

As part of the NFL draft camp testing event - officially the National Invitational Camp (NIC) - the invited-only prospective players have interviews with teams and a comprehensive physical, medical and psychological testing program.

Since 1979, some sort of scouting testing was performed, leading to the first official combine in 1982 where players and team scouts got together to see prospects put through their paces (see more on the history of the combine)

Below is an outline of the range of tests currently conducted at the combine. For the top scores in many of these tests, see the NFL Combine Results. See also the poll about Which NFL Combine event do you think is the most important?

There are other combines too - see details of a quarterback specific combine, the NFL Veteran Combine and the Regional Combines.

Physical Testing

physical measurements

Each prospect has measurements of height, weight, arm length, and hand length. Also running backs and linemen’s body fat percentage are measured using the 'bod pod'.

40 yard dash

This is a test of speed and power. From a three-point stance, a player runs 40 yards as fast as he can. Split times are recorded at 10 and 20 yards to measure acceleration. The 10-yard time is especially important for offensive and defensive linesmen because they usually don't run further than that during a play.

bench press

The bench press test is a test of upper body strength. Each player must bench press 225 lbs. as many times as they can. Quarterbacks and wide receivers are exempt from the test. The bench press is the most important for offensive and defensive linemen.

vertical jump

A test of explosion and power. The player jumps off both feet straight up as high as he can. The vertical jump is most important for receivers and defensive backs.

broad jump

Similar to the vertical jump, this is a test of lower body strength, explosion, and power. The broad jump measures how far you can jump, not how high. From a standing position, the player jumps forward off two feet as far as he can. The broad jump is the most important for running backs, linemen, and linebackers.

20-yard shuttle

Also called the 5-10-5 Shuttle, this is a test of agility including speed, explosion and changing of directions. Technique is also important. Each player will be timed how fast they can go 5 yards laterally, then 10 back in the opposite direction, and finishing 5 yards back to the start line.

Three-cone drill

This is an agility test where the players runs around three cones placed in the shape of an "L". There are 5 yards between each cone.

60-yard shuttle

This is an anaerobic test, a ladder shuttle of progressing distances. From a starting line, a player runs 5 yards and back, then 10 yards and back, then 15 yards and back, touching the line each time.

Skill Testing



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