NFL Combine. Does it mean anything?

Metrifit Athlete Monitoring System

Johnny Manziel - Scouting Combine
As you read this blog, two hundred and fifty of Americas’ best college football players are training for the famous and criticised NFL combine week. The combine is an event held every year in the Lucas Oil Field stadium in Indianapolis. In the combine, the top draft prospects are put through mental and physical tests whilst under scrutiny by the NFLs’ top scouts. These tests include the popular forty yard dash where the athletes are timed as they sprint at full throttle for forty yards, and the three cone drill where the athletes turning ability is tested. You might be wondering why this simple concept has been criticised for as long it’s existed. Here’s why.

Well, as much as I like the combine personally, most of the drills athletes are put through are pretty much irrelevant. For example, Terrell Suggs, one of the best defensive players of all time, ran a below average 4.83 in the forty yard dash. He only could manage nineteen reps in the two hundred and twenty five pound bench press. The average for his position was twenty five. Suggs, who was favoured to be the first pick in the 2003 draft ended up sliding down to the tenth overall pick. As you may guess, his speed and strength that posed problems in the combine, never affected Suggs’ playing career as the player went on to win the Super Bowl and win six Pro Bowl awards.

Cases such as Terrell Suggs’ got sports scientists wondering whether the combine can really predict the future of an athlete in the NFL. In-depth research conducted by Brian D. Lyons, Brian J. Hoffman, John W. Michel, and Kevin J. Williams in 2011 found that the forty-yard dash, vertical jump, twenty-yard shuttle, and three cone drill tests have limited validity in predicting future NFL performance. Sports writer Rod Silverman also states that the only way to scout a player is to watch him play and the NFL should stop the combine as it is a useless tool for scouts. The NFL, who make a substantial amount of money from the event, due to televised rights, have ignored the research and the combine still includes all of the drills and tests.

The thirty third annual combine will commence on the seventeenth of February in Indianapolis and will host a fresh batch of two hundred and fifty hungry athletes ready to show the NFL they’re ready, by doing pointless tests.

source:  NFL scouting combine 


Fergal Mulholland is a transition year student with Coláiste Rís  in Dundalk and has spent this week in our offices to gain some insight into what we do.  During this week he has dabbled in Sports Science, Social Media and Information Technology. This is Fergals first ever blog post and we think he’s done a great job!