NFL Combine

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The NFL Scouting Combine is a week-long event that takes place annually in February at Lucas Oil Stadium (until 2008 in the RCA Dome ) in Indianapolis , Indiana , with American football players who register for the upcoming draft in April of that year should be invited to show those responsible for the NFL teams their athletic, but also psychological and mental abilities. With increasing interest in the NFL draft, the Combine has increased in scope and importance, so that the personnel managers can assess the upcoming young players in a standardized framework.

Athletes are only allowed to participate by invitation. An athlete's performance during the combine can have an impact on their draft status, salary, and ultimately their career. The draft popularized the term "workout warrior," which involves increasing an athlete's "draft stick" based on superior measurable characteristics such as size, speed, and strength despite having an average or below average college career.


Tex Schramm , the President and General Manager of the Dallas Cowboys from 1960 to 1989, proposed to the NFL Competition Committee that the evaluation process for NFL teams should be centralized. Before 1982, the teams had to arrange individual visits with the players in order to conduct exercises and tests with them. The National Invitational Camp (NIC) was first held in Tampa , Florida , in 1982 . It was created by National Football Scouting, Inc. to give affiliates a chance to see college talent. Two more camps were set up for non-members and used from 1982–1984. The NIC was held in New Orleans , Louisiana in 1984 . After the three training camps were merged in 1985 to reduce the cost of running the additional camps, it was renamed the NFL Scouting Combine. It was carried out in Arizona in 1985 and again in New Orleans in 1986, before finally relocating to Indianapolis in 1987.

Tests and evaluations

Tests / assessments include:

  • 40-yard dash
  • Bench press (approx. 102.5 kg, 225 lb)
  • Vertical jump
  • Broad jump
  • 20-yard shuttle
  • 3 cone drill
  • 60-yard shuttle
  • Position-specific exercises
  • Interviews - Each team is allowed to conduct 60 interviews at 15-minute intervals.
  • Physical measurements
  • Injury evaluation
  • Drug test
  • The Cybex test
  • The Wonderlic test

Sports journalists question whether these tests have any connection with future NFL performance. Empirical research by Brian D. Lyons, Brian J. Hoffman, John W. Michel, and Kevin J. Williams (2011) found that the 40-yard dash, the high jump, the 20-yard shuttle, and the 3-cone -Drill in predicting future NFL performance has limited validity. Indeed, the study by Lyons et al. (2011) suggest that a talent's past performance in college is a better indicator of future NFL performance than the physical ability tests above.

20-yard shuttle

The 20-yard shuttle, also simply called the short shuttle, is primarily used to assess the speed and agility of the players. While this test is not as highly regarded as the 40 yard dash, it is still an important tool for NFL staff to use to compare players. The shuttle test is also used in Canadian football.

The name "20-yard shuttle" is derived from the total number of yards that the athletes cover during the exercise. This drill is also known as a "short shuttle" or "5-10-5" drill. The runner starts at the middle of three cones, each 5 yards apart. When the whistle sounds, the players run to the side five meters and touch the yard line. They then sprint ten yards in the other direction and hit the opposite yard line from which they sprint back onto the start yard line. After covering that distance and touching the line as quickly as possible, the athlete must turn around and run 10 yards in the opposite direction and touch the line again. Eventually, he turns back and ends the drill at the starting point after traveling another 5 yards. This process is timed and the athlete starts the drill in response to the word "Go" uttered by the person starting the stopwatch. The NFL Scouting Committee allows each participant three attempts to drill, with the best time of the three attempts being recorded as the player's time.

The drill is designed to measure short range speed, lateral movement and flexibility, and the speed at which a player can change direction. The drill also gives the scouts an idea of ​​how well a player can maintain a low center of gravity and how well they can lower their hips.

Bench Press

The NFL Combine uses the bench press as a test of muscle strength and endurance, with athletes lifting 225 pounds (102 kg) as often as possible. Since 1999, only 17 athletes have achieved more than 40 repetitions on the combine.

Scouting organizations

The NFL's first scouting organization, LESTO ( Lions , Eagles and Steelers Talent Organization), was founded in 1963 by the teams named in the name and based in Pittsburgh , Pennsylvania . It became BLESTO the following year when the Bears joined and BLESTO-V later that decade when the Vikings joined; In 1971 the Bills , Colts and Dolphins joined and the organization became known as BLESTO-VIII. Today it's simply called BLESTO, even though the Bears and Eagles are no longer members. The organization's headquarters remained in Pittsburgh until 2007, when headquarters were relocated to Jacksonville , Florida , while auxiliary offices remained in Pittsburgh.

The CEPO (Central Eastern Personnel Organization) founded in 1964 was an amalgamation of the Colts, Browns , Packers and Cardinals . Its name was changed to United Scouting after the Falcons , Giants and Redskins joined , and then to National Football Scouting in 1983 to avoid confusion with the United States Football League , which began operations that year. National Football Scouting is now known simply as The National.

Another scouting organization founded in 1964 was Troika, launched by the Cowboys , Rams, and 49ers . It was renamed Quadra in 1967 when the Saints joined. Quadra no longer exists; its former members are now all part of The National.

With the 2015 season, eighteen franchises have joined The National (Arizona Cardinals, Atlanta Falcons, Carolina Panthers , Cincinnati Bengals , Dallas Cowboys, Denver Broncos , Green Bay Packers, Houston Texans , Kansas City Chiefs , New Orleans Saints, New York Jets , Philadelphia Eagles, Los Angeles Rams, Los Angeles Chargers , San Francisco 49ers, Seattle Seahawks , Tampa Bay Buccaneers and Tennessee Titans ), with eight from BLESTO (Buffalo Bills, Detroit Lions, Jacksonville Jaguars , Miami Dolphins, Minnesota Vikings, New York Giants , Pittsburgh Steelers and Washington Redskins). Each of the six non-affiliated teams (Baltimore Ravens, Chicago Bears, Cleveland Browns, Indianapolis Colts, Las Vegas Raiders, and New England Patriots ) rely on their in-house staff.

Combine invitation

In a typical year there are about 330 invited players. About 250 invitations will be sent to those who have completed their season before the bowl games conclude. However, lower-grade students have until mid-January to confirm their draft status. Invitations are sent to those who are supported by the vast majority of the selection committee.


Sports journalist Steve Silverman explains what happened to Terrell Suggs in an article he wrote . Suggs was a star player for Arizona State but was downgraded to 4.83 due to a slow 40-yard dash. He later became a star player with the Ravens . Times-Picayune's Doug Tatum argues that players are unlikely to have to run another 40-yard sprint during their career. Silverman says the best way to scout is to just watch them play. Others say the importance of the 40 yard dash depends on position; Daniel Jeremiah, a former NFL Network scout and analyst , said, "The most weighty position 40 is in is cornerback . If you're a receiver who runs 4.6 , like ( Anquan) Boldin , but has high speed short range and strong hands, the 40 isn't a big deal, but when you're cornerback running a 4.6 and facing a receiver running a 4.4, it doesn't matter how good yours are Ball arts are ".

Regional combines

As of 2011, a series of eleven regional combines were held in eight cities ( Los Angeles , Houston , Baltimore , Tampa, East Rutherford , Chicago , Atlanta and Cleveland ) from January to March for players who were not invited to the main scouting combine. as well as for other free agents. The best players from these regional combines were invited to the NFL Super Regional Combine at Ford Field in Detroit in late March. In 2016, the NFL said goodbye to this format and only held five combines in Houston, Arizona, Baltimore, Minnesota and New Orleans.

Veteran Combine

The first NFL Veteran Combine was scheduled on March 22, 2015 at the Arizona Cardinals facility. The Combine was in connection with the NFL owners meeting that took place March 22-24, 2015, also in Phoenix . The Combine was staffed with veteran free agents and all 32 participating clubs. There were over 2,000 player applications to participate, with only a few selected. Notable players included Adam Carriker, Felix Jones , Michael Sam and Brady Quinn. However, in the first week of the 2015 regular season, only two Combines players ( linebacker Brandon Copeland and tight end Ifeanyi Momah) were in action in the NFL.

The NFL has canceled the Veteran Combine planned for 2016 due to a lack of player interest.

On December 16, 2016, the NFL announced that it would rename the Veteran Combine back to Pro Player Combine and focus attention on the younger players rather than the veterans trying to get another chance in the NFL.

Individual evidence

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  19. Matt Vensel, The Baltimore Sun: Regional combine Provides another road to the NFL. Retrieved March 31, 2020 (American English).
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