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Performance of future elite players at the NFL Scouting Combine.

Hedlund, David P. Ph.D.
Journal of Strength & Conditioning Research: Post Acceptance: September 11, 2017
doi: 10.1519/JSC.0000000000002252
Original Research: PDF Only

The purpose of this study is to examine players' physical and performance measures taken at the NFL Scouting Combine and compare these to their future performance in the NFL. From 2002-2016, three types of player data (N=5,506) were collected from secondary data sources. Results players earned on various NFL Scouting Combine drills and measurements (e.g., height, weight, 40-yard dash time, vertical jump, bench press repetitions, shuttle run time, and 3-cone drill time), the position players play on the field (e.g., quarterback, running back, wide receiver, tight end, offensive line, defensive line, linebacker, and defensive back), and if players received elite performance awards (e.g., Pro Bowl and All-Pro selections) in the future were collected. After analyzing the data, the results indicate that (1) NFL quarterbacks that received All-Pro and Pro Bowl awards tend to be taller, weigh more, run faster in the 40-yard dash, jump higher, complete more bench presses, and are slower for the shuttle run and 3-cone drill; (2) All-Pro and Pro Bowl NFL running backs tend to weight more, run the 40-yard dash faster, do not jump as high, complete more bench presses, and complete the shuttle run and 3-cone drills slower; (3) NFL wide receivers that were selected for the Pro Bowl or as All-Pros tend to be taller, weigh more, run the 40-yard dash faster, have a higher vertical jump, and run the 3-cone drill faster; (4) NFL tight ends that received All-Pro and Pro Bowl awards tend to be taller, weight more, run the 40-yard dash faster, jump higher, complete more bench presses, run the shuttle run slower, and complete the 3-cone drill faster; (5) All-Pro and Pro Bowl NFL offensive linemen tend to run the 40-yard dash faster, jump higher, are able to complete more bench presses, and run both the shuttle run and 3-cone drill faster; (6) NFL defensive linemen that were selected as All-Pro and Pro Bowl players tend to be taller, weight more, run the 40-yard dash faster, jump higher, complete more bench presses, and run the 3-cone drill faster; (7) NFL linebackers that were named to the All-Pro and Pro Bowl teams tend to be taller, weight more, run the 40-yard dash faster, jump higher, can complete more bench presses, and run both the shuttle run and 3-cone drill faster; (8) NFL wide receivers that were selected for the Pro Bowl or as an All-Pro tend to weigh more, run the 40-yard dash faster, jump higher, can complete fewer bench presses, and run the shuttle run slower. Certified strength and conditioning specialists for college and professional teams will be able to use these results to help train and set performance goals for American football athletes with whom they work and train.

Copyright (C) 2017 by the National Strength & Conditioning Association.