NFL Combine drills and workouts, explained
Every year, hundreds of prospects run, jump and lift in front of NFL scouts and GMs at the NFL Combine. But what are those team officials watching for in each drill? Here’s a look at each of the major drills at the Combine, as well as what they test for.
The most hyped event of the Combine, the 40-yard dash primarily measures how quickly someone can run 40 yards downfield. That’s all well and good for receivers, defensive backs and running backs - all positions in which 40-yard downfield sprints are common - but there’s more to it than pure speed. Teams also use two splits within the dash - at 10 yards and 20 yards - in addition to the official 40-yard time.
10-yard split: This measures short-area explosion. It can show how quickly a player can get out of his stance, and often is used for both offensive and defensive linemen (since first-step quickness is more important than downfield speed). It also works for skill positions such as wide receivers to show an ability to quickly get off the line of scrimmage.
20-yard split: This helps measure acceleration. The quicker you’re able to reach - and maintain - your top speed, the quicker your 20-yard split will be. This is important for wide receivers, running backs, tight ends and defensive backs.
Combine record: Shelton Gibson, 2017 (10.71 seconds)