2015 Combine guide

Draft season officially kicks off next week with the NFL Combine. The NFL Network carries most of the on-field activities and is pure gold for hard-core draft followers. In the days leading up to the Combine, there will be the traditional debate about its importance in terms of a player’s draft status. My position has been that while the Combine does not tell the whole story it does provide a chapter and no information should be ignored in evaluating players. On-field activities in Indianapolis will take place as follows: As a reminder, the principal Combine drills are: • 40 yard dash - Also timed for the first 10 yard, the first 20 yards and the final 20 yards - The final 20 yards is often referred to as the “flying 20” because the player has a running start consisting of the first 20 yards • Bench Press • Vertical Jump • Broad Jump • 20 yard shuttle - Players move in one direction, then the other, in order to measure ability to change directions • 3-Cone - Three cones are placed five yards from each other with the players running around the cones in a predetermined manner in order to measure agility. While one can question the value of the Combine, it is inarguably the case that the vast majority of the players who will be drafted show up at the event: • Over 81% of the players drafted over the past ten years were Combine participants • Over 69% of the Combine participants were drafted during the past 10 years - See the following table for the breakdown by playing position - Fullbacks are excluded due to the small number of invitees In detail supporting this analysis, each player is listed by his Combine position. The only exceptions are that running backs and defensive ends are split by size. “Small” running backs are defined as weighing less than 215 pounds, with “large” running backs weighing 215 pounds or more. Small defensive ends are defined as weighing less than 270 pounds and large defensive ends weigh 270 pounds or more. There is no science to the splits by weight, but they are largely dependent on the average weight for the two positions. This is the first of two articles that will precede the 2015 Combine. This article is intended to provide information on historical Combine results and should help put a 2015 Combine participant’s performance into perspective. The second article will focus on the importance of each Combine drill by playing position. The following table is intended for as a reference tool while watching or reading about the Combine. Three data points (based on the past 10 years) are provided for each drill/playing position combination: • Average by playing position and drill • “T10%” indicates the time, distance or number of repetitions necessary to place in the top 10% of historical performances • “B10%” indicates the time, distance or number of repetitions a player must exceed in order to avoid being in the bottom 10% of historical performances NR = Not relevant Follow Tony on Twitter @draftmetrics

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