Performance of Future Elite Players
at the NFL Scouting Combine


David P. Hedlund, Ph.D.
Assistant Professor
Division of Sport Management
College of Professional Studies
St. John’s University, New York, New York

ABSTRACT

Hedlund, DP. Performance of future elite players at the NFL scouting combine. J Strength Cond Res XX(X): 000-000, 2017-The purpose of this study is to examine players’ physical and performance measures taken at the National Football League (NFL) Scouting Combine and compare these with their future performance in the NFL.  From 2002 to 2016, 3 types of player data (N = 5,506) were collected from secondary data sources.  Results of 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 filed (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 (a) 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; (b) All-Pro and Pro Bowl NFL running backs tend to weigh 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; (c) NFL wide receivers who were selected for the Pro Bowl or as All-Pros tend to be taller, weight more, run the 40-yard dash faster, have a higher vertical jump, and run the 3-cone drill faster; (d) 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; (e) 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; (f) NFL defensive linemen who were selected as All-Pro and Pro Bowl players tend to be taller, weigh more, run the 40-yard dash faster, jump higher, complete more bench presses, and run the 3-cone drill faster; (g) NFL linebackers who were name to the All-Pro and Pro Bowl teams tend to be taller, weigh 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; and (h) NFL wide receivers that were selected for the Pro Bowl or an 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.

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