Adding Perspective to NFL Combine Results: Part 1

The NFL Combine gets underway this week with the following schedule (per

Hardcore draftniks will be glued to the NFL Network and will be anxiously scanning the internet for published Combine results. Even the casual draft follower typically has an interest in the Combine results and how those results affect a player’s draft prospects. But how can a fan interpret results that show, for example, that a cornerback ran a 4.55 40 and had a broad jump of 125 inches? How do those results stack up against that player’s competition and past Combine participants? And how important is each of the drills?

The next two DRAFTMETRICS articles are intended to provide that missing perspective. This article focuses on allowing fans to compare this year’s Combine results with historical outcomes. Tomorrow’s article will concentrate on the relative importance of each drill by playing position. Based on results of the 1999 through 2012 Combines, the table on the next page of this article reports:

• The average result for a playing position in each drill
• The results that would place a player among the top performers
-This is done by analyzing past Combines to determine the result that place a player in the 90th percentile, the 80th percentile and so on down to the 50th percentile

As an example of how to read the following DRAFTMETRICS table, the average time for a running back in the 10-yard split was 1.58 seconds and a running back would have to run the 10-yard split in 1.50 seconds or faster to be in the 90th percentile of all performers (e.g., in the top 10% of all scores).

So what about DRAFTMETRICS hypothetical cornerback? Using the table on the next page shows that his 40 time would place him below the 50th percentile (a time between 4.50 and 4.47 would put him in the 50th percentile) and his broad jump would place him in the 70th percentile (a 126 inch broad jump would have put him in the 80th percentile) for that drill.

Tony is the founder of DRAFTMETRICS.COM can be e-mailed at and followed on Twitter @draftmetrics

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