Re-examining the NFL Combine

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Vern recently wrote about the NFL combine…a topic that is up for frequent discussion on ET. Most of the time, we’re debating the value of the combine as a means of predicting success in the NFL (or college since it’s starting to be used at the high school level). The general consensus seems to be that the tests themselves are wrong (225 lb bench press test for reps) or that the very least the method of testing is flawed (i.e- hand time 40s). With this in mind, what would you do to change it. The current NFL combine format consists of the following tests (via Wikipedia):

  • 40-yard dash
  • Bench press (225lb repetitions)
  • Vertical jump
  • Broad jump
  • 20 yard shuttle
  • 3 cone drill
  • 60-yard shuttle
  • Position-specific drills
  • Interviews
  • Physical measurements
  • Injury evaluation
  • Drug screen
  • The Cybex test
  • The Wonderlic Test

Generally the best athletes don’t do every test. I’ve bolded out the ones that seem to be viewed as the most important. Now let’s answer 4 questions:

  1. Which tests are valid indicators of NFL success and should remain as is?
  2. Which tests are completely bogus and should be removed?
  3. Which tests just need a change in testing methodology and what would that change be?
  4. Which tests would you add are not currently being used?

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Mike Young

Mike Young

Founder of ELITETRACK at Athletic Lab
Mike has a BS in Exercise Physiology from Ohio University, an MSS in Coaching Science from Ohio University & a PhD in Biomechanics from LSU. Additionally, he has been recognized as a Certified Strength & Conditioning Specialist (CSCS) from the National Strength & Conditioning Association, a Level 3 coach by USA Track & Field, a Level 2 coach by USA Weightlifting.
Mike Young

@mikeyoung

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Mike Young
Mike Young
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