NFL Draft Combine Testing

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

It all started in 1977, when workouts were conducted by three separate scouting services National, Blesto and Quadra. In 1984 the system was streamlined when the workouts were moved to one location. The idea to gather all of the draft’s prospects in one place was by past Dallas Cowboys draft braintrusts Gil Brandt and Tex Schramm.

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? and details of a quarterback specific combine.

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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