Nfl Combine: What is It and Why is It Important?


Learn about the NFL Combine, a crucial event where college football players showcase their skills to NFL scouts. Explore its significance, different events, and how teams use Combine data for the NFL Draft process. Discover notable performances that made history.

The NFL Combine is a week-long event in Indianapolis, Indiana, where college football players who are eligible for the NFL Draft showcase their skills and abilities to NFL scouts and executives. This controlled environment allows teams to evaluate players thoroughly, making informed decisions during the drafting process and assessing the college football odds. The Combine is a crucial part of the NFL Draft process, as it gives teams a chance to evaluate players in a controlled environment.

The Combine was first held in 1936, and it has since become an essential part of the NFL Draft process. The Combine consists of a series of physical and mental tests, including the 40-yard dash, the vertical jump, the bench press, and the Wonderlic test. Players also participate in interviews with NFL teams.

The Combine is important for a number of reasons. First, it gives teams a chance to compare players from different colleges and conferences. Second, it allows teams to see how players perform under pressure. Third, it gives teams a chance to get to know players better and to ask them questions about their backgrounds and their football philosophies.

The Combine is not without its critics. Some people believe that it is too focused on speed and athleticism, and that it does not give enough weight to other important factors, such as character and intelligence. However, the Combine remains an important part of the NFL Draft process, and it is a valuable tool for NFL teams.

What are the different events at the NFL Combine?


The NFL Combine consists of a series of physical and mental tests. The following are some of the most important events at the Combine:

  • 40-yard dash: The 40-yard dash is a test of a player’s speed. Players run 40 yards as fast as they can, and their times are recorded.
  • Vertical jump: The vertical jump is a test of a player’s explosiveness. Players jump as high as they can, and their heights are recorded.
  • Bench press: The bench press is a test of a player’s strength. Players bench press as much weight as they can, and their weights are recorded.
  • Wonderlic test: The Wonderlic test is an intelligence test. Players are given a 12-minute test to answer 50 questions.

InĀ  addition to these events, players also participate in position-specific drills. For example, quarterbacks throw passes to receivers, running backs run through cones, and defensive linemen try to sack a quarterback.

How do NFL teams use the Combine data?

NFL teams use the Combine data to evaluate players and to make decisions about who to draft. Teams look at a player’s Combine results in comparison to other players at the same position. They also look at how a player performs in the drills and how he interviews with team personnel.

The Combine data is just one piece of the puzzle that NFL teams use to evaluate players. Teams also look at a player’s college tape, his pro day, and his character. However, the Combine is an important part of the process, and it can give teams a significant advantage in the NFL Draft.

What are some of the most notable performances at the NFL Combine?


There have been many notable performances at the NFL Combine over the years. Some of the most memorable include:

  • John Ross: In 2014, John Ross ran a 4.22-second 40-yard dash, which was the fastest time ever recorded at the Combine. Ross was drafted by the Cincinnati Bengals with the ninth overall pick.
  • Michael Thomas: In 2016, Michael Thomas had a dominant performance at the Combine. He ran a 4.37-second 40-yard dash, and he had a 41.5-inch vertical jump. Thomas was drafted by the New Orleans Saints with the 47th overall pick.
  • Quenton Nelson: In 2018, Quenton Nelson was one of the most impressive players at the Combine. He ran a 5.02-second 40-yard dash, and he had a 35.5-inch vertical jump. Nelson was drafted by the Indianapolis Colts with the sixth overall pick.

Another notable performance at the NFL Combine came in 2017 when running back Saquon Barkley showcased his exceptional athleticism and versatility. Barkley recorded a 4.40-second 40-yard dash, an impressive 41-inch vertical jump, and a remarkable 29 repetitions in the bench press. His display of speed, explosiveness, and strength solidified his status as one of the top prospects in his draft class, leading to his selection by the New York Giants with the second overall pick.

In 2019, wide receiver D.K. Metcalf made headlines with his jaw-dropping physical attributes. Metcalf, known for his incredible size and speed, measured in at 6’3″ tall, weighed 228 pounds, and displayed an astonishing 1.6% body fat. He ran the 40-yard dash in a blazing 4.33 seconds and recorded a 40.5-inch vertical jump. Metcalf’s exceptional performance not only showcased his elite physical traits but also generated significant buzz around his potential as an impact player in the NFL. He was subsequently selected by the Seattle Seahawks in the second round of the draft.

The NFL Combine has also witnessed remarkable displays of strength. In 2020, offensive lineman Tristan Wirfs set a new Combine record in the vertical jump for his position, reaching an impressive height of 36.5 inches. Wirfs’ exceptional athleticism, combined with his remarkable strength and agility, made him an enticing prospect, and he was subsequently drafted by the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in the first round.


Beyond individual performances, the NFL Combine has witnessed moments that have challenged traditional perceptions and biases. In 2013, linebacker Shaquem Griffin captivated the football world with his inspiring performance. Griffin, who had his left hand amputated at a young age due to a congenital condition, showcased his exceptional speed, agility, and determination. He ran the 40-yard dash in 4.38 seconds, recorded a 20-rep bench press, and impressed with his overall athleticism. Griffin’s remarkable performance shattered stereotypes and demonstrated that physical limitations should not hinder one’s ability to excel in the sport. He was subsequently drafted by the Seattle Seahawks, reuniting him with his twin brother, Shaquill Griffin, who was already playing for the team.

These notable performances at the NFL Combine not only capture the attention of scouts and fans but also significantly impact a player’s draft stock. Exceptional displays of athleticism, speed, strength, and versatility can elevate a player’s status and increase their chances of being selected early in the draft. The Combine serves as a platform for players to separate themselves from the competition, leave a lasting impression on decision-makers, and potentially secure a prosperous career in the NFL.

These are just a few of the many notable performances at the NFL Combine. The Combine is a great opportunity for players to showcase their talents and to improve their draft stock.

In conclusion, the NFL Combine is an indispensable event that plays a vital role in the evaluation and selection of college football players for the NFL Draft. It provides a controlled environment where players can showcase their physical abilities, mental aptitude, and football skills to scouts, coaches, and executives from all 32 NFL teams. As the event continues to evolve and adapt, it will likely strive to strike a balance between assessing physical prowess and capturing the intangibles that contribute to a player’s overall potential and success in professional football.