What is the NFL Combine

The NFL Combine is an annual event that brings over 300 of the year’s most hopeful recruits to Lucas Oil Stadium, where they all perform a suite of tests and courses in order to assess their abilities, and show scouts and team owners that they deserve a spot on the best teams in America. For the most part, NFL hopefuls must prove their physical ability to compete against other players, but there is an NFL Combine intelligence test administered to prospective draft picks in an effort to quantify their overall cooperativeness among fellow team members. This test, known as the Wonderlic test, has been used by the NFL since the 70s as a trusted tool for evaluating future player performance.



How Does the NFL Combine Work




The NFL Combine is a week-long event in which prospective NFL Drafts showcase their abilities to scouts, team owners, and coaches in the hopes of being drafted to the top teams in the league. The NFL Combine 2018 is broken down into categories that allow each player to perform the feats that will be required of them in their desired role on the team. The list below includes the main events at the NFL Combine:



  • 40-yard dash

    • Measures a player’s ability to achieve an awesome top-speed, and hold it across 40-yards to simulate the moments where quick bursts of speed will be necessary to get away from an opponent, or catch them on the field before they can make significant progress.

  • Bench press

    • Measured as a player’s ability to repeatedly lift 225-lbs.

    • The current bench press record for the NFL Combine is held by Justin Earnest, who managed 51 repetitions in the 1999 Combine.

  • Vertical jump

    • Measures a player’s ability to leap straight into the air, either in a static position, or while running down the field. This is a phenomenal way of assessing the maximum reach a player has when leaping over obstacles, or reaching for a football that was thrown a tad off-target.

  • Broad jump

    • The broad jump is another word for a standing long-jump. This is a good way of measuring a player’s ability to leap over opponents and soar an extra few feet towards the end zone. Launching one’s body forward during a game requires explosive exertion, so it’s a good sign to coaches and scouts alike if a player can run around for half an hour and then still produce short bursts of energy.

  • 20-yard shuttle

    • This task was designed to measure a player’s ability to change direction quickly, and complete movements in all directions, as opposed to just running in a straight line. To scouts, successfully completing this drill indicates that you can change direction on the fly, evade opponents, and keep charging forward.

  • 3 cone drill

    • Being able to move around the field in an agile manner is important for all pro-football players. The 3 cone drill is designed to measure just that; by requiring players to move quickly between three points, while bending and sprinting around the field.

  • 60-yard shuttle

    • This practice is similar to the 20-yard shuttle, but requires players to exert more effort for a longer amount of time to get up and down the field. The drill requires players to run up to a 20-yard line, touch it, turn around, and run back to the starting line. Then, they repeat the process by running to the 40-yard and 60-yard lines as well. Once the 60-yard line is touched, the player sprints back to the starting line.

  • Interviews

    • Teams are allowed a certain amount of interview time for them to speak with potential recruits that they feel would be great additions to their team. This way, if there are any reservations on the part of coaches or team leadership, they can be addressed immediately.

  • Drug screen

    • Before any NFL hopeful can make their full transition to the NFL, they have to pass a drug screening to make sure that no performance enhancing drugs were used, which could give them an unfair advantage over other players, as well as harm their own health.

  • The Cybex test

    • The Cybex test is used at the end of the combine to test the overall status of a player’s body. Each player’s joint movement is what is primarily evaluated by the Cybex test.

  • The Wonderlic test

    • The Wonderlic test is administered to all athletes at the NFL combine, regardless of their position, to gauge how well they would do on the field, under pressure, with very tight time constraints. Most NFL plays occur within 4-7 seconds, so having a player who can discern the best course of action in a few short seconds could mean the difference between defeat and victory.