• Coaching Performance for the NFL Combine
    The National Football League (NFL) Draft Combine evaluates prospective professional football players on several athletic performance tests. See how professional football players score on athletic performance tests like the 40-yard dash, shuttle run, vertical jump, and bench press. From the NSCA's Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research.
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  • NFL CombineRead the full-length article in theJournal of Strength and Conditioning Research. 

    The National Football League (NFL) Draft Combine evaluates prospective professional football players on several athletic performance tests including, but not limited to, the following: 36.6-m sprint (40-yard dash), 18.3-m (20-yard) shuttle run, 3-cone agility test, vertical jump, broad jump, and 102.1-kg (225-lb) bench press. A recent study in the Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research aimed to compare these performance measurements among the different American football positions. Over 1,000 participants were included in the study; excluding special teams, 15 major football positions were evaluated. 

    Highlighted Results
    • Offensive guard jump ability was inferior to other positions with the exception of other selected lineman positions
    • Cornerbacks had the fastest 40-yard dash amongst the 15 position players, with the exception of wide receivers
    • Offensive lineman had the slowest sprint scores among the positions
    • Cornerbacks performed better in the horizontal jump than other positions, except for strong safeties and wide receivers
    • Defensive backs outperformed other positions in the vertical jump
    • Wide receivers outperformed other positions in the 3-cone agility test
    • Defensive tackles’ upper-body strength scores (based on number of bench press repetitions at 225 lb) were higher than all other positions except offensive guards and centers
    • Cornerbacks had the lowest upper-body strength scores compared to other positions
    • Quarterbacks, running backs, fullbacks, and tight ends did not demonstrate significantly superior or inferior scores compared to other positions (*Quarterback data for the bench press test was not reported)
    What Does This Mean for Coaches? 
    Different football positions cater to different styles of athletes; this is no surprise. However, the results of this study can help coaches determine the areas of focus for their particular athletes. For example, it might not be worth the time to focus on a cornerback’s weakness in upper-body strength when he is more likely to be evaluated on sprinting ability.Furthermore, a cornerback with a strong upper body might be able to stand out amongst the crowd if his bench press score is high. The mean values of this study demonstrate how football players are evaluated as part of their respective position groups. The proper modifications to an athlete’s strength and conditioning program might be the difference between being selected in the first round, second round, or no round at all.
  • Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research

    About the Author:

    NSCA Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research

    The Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research is the NSCA's scientific journal. This monthly publication prints original research information important to strength and conditioning practitioners. Many educational institutions, researchers, and professionals retain this journal as a valuable reference.

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  • Disclaimer: The National Strength and Conditioning Association (NSCA) encourages the exchange of diverse opinions. The ideas, comments, and materials presented herein do not necessarily reflect the NSCA’s official position on an issue. The NSCA assumes no responsibility for any statements made by authors, whether as fact, opinion, or otherwise. 
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