NFL Scouting Combine 2011: All The Drills and Workouts The Players Will Do

The 2011 NFL Combine will take place at the Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis starting Thursday, Feb. 24 and ending Tuesday, March 1.

The combine is a chance for more than 300 draft prospects to show what they have in front of coaches and scouts from every NFL team.

Athletes have trained months for these drills and the results could impact where they are taken in the draft.

Some people put more stock in one of these drills than the other drills listed, but all of these drills are used to determine the pro potential of a prospect.

There are multiple drills designed specifically for each position, but here are the drills used for every NFL prospect.

40-Yard Dash

What it is?

If there is one event that gets more coverage at the Combine, it is the 40-yard dash. The name states what this is, it is a 40-yard sprint, pretty self explanatory

What it measures and why it’s important?

The athletes are timed at the 10, 20 and 40-yard intervals while running this drill. Scouts are looking for explosion right off the start, as well as finishing speed.

Scouts and coaches put a lot of stock into the 40 times of these draft prospects.

Bench Press

What it is?

Plain and simple, it’s the bench press. Basically, the athletes rep 225 pounds as many times as they can.

What it measures and why it’s important?

The max on bench press is sometimes considered as a measuring stick for how strong an athlete is for one particular rep.

However, the bench press measures something that will show in an actual NFL game, and that is endurance.

Sure you can be strong for one rep, but when you play in the NFL you are going to play multiple plays and endurance is a huge factor in your success.

Vertical Jump

What it is?

Basically, the athlete stands flat footed and jumps as high as he can. The athlete starts off on the ground and reaches as high as he can. Then, when he jumps the difference is considered his vertical jump measurement

What it measures and why it’s important?

The drill is used to determine lower-body explosion and power. The game of football is won on the first step, and explosion is a very key part in being successful in the NFL. The vertical jump measures the vertical jumping ability of the athlete and is used to determine his lower-body explosion as well as power.

Broad Jump

What it is?

Everyone remembers this back in high school, the standing long jump. This is a drill where you stand flat-footed and jump as far as you can.

What it measures and why it’s important?

This is another drill that measures lower-body explosion and power. This drill also adds an added element that the vertical jump doesn’t have, and that is balance. The athlete must land without moving, meaning that this drill also is indicative of the balance that the player has.

3 Cone Drill

What it is?

The picture speaks for itself. There are three cones in an L-shape that are five-yards apart. The player has to run to cone two, back to cone one, around cone two to then go around cone three, and then go around cone two and finish at cone one.

What it measures and why it’s important?

This drill measures the ability for the athlete to very quickly change directions after a brief burst of speed.

The importance of this drill is that it is more football-like than the 40-yard dash. Football is a very fast game, and athletes have to change directions multiple times at a very fast speed. That is the goal of this drill, to measure that players ability.

Shuttle Run

What it is?

Similar to three cone drill, except these cones are in a straight line. The athlete starts in the middle, runs five yards to his right, turns around and runs ten yards to his left, turns around a final time and runs back five yards to the middle.

What it measures and why it’s important?

This is another drill that measures quickness, explosion and change in direction at a high speed.

If I was a scout, I would put more stock in the three cone drill and this drill than the 40-yard dash because these drills are more like actual game play in the NFL.

The 40 time is very important, but it’s only the athletes running in a straight line, something they rarely do during an actual football game.

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