NFL Scouting Combine: Top Performers

We’re about halfway between the NFL Combine and the NFL Draft (and actually just wrapping up the first ever Veteran Combine which, apparently, wasn’t too impressive). With free agency very much underway and team’s getting a second/closer look at some players at their on-campus pro-days, there is no shortage of considerations teams have to make in deciding their draft strategies. At the close of the Combine, I looked at the top performers in each drill. Now, I want to take a look at the players who have had the best overall performances at the NFL Scouting Combine. To do this, I analyzed how players fared in the 40 yard dash, 20 yard shuttle run, vertical jump, broad jump and bench press. I selected these five drills because they are the drills that the majority (in all cases over 61%) of players participate in. I examined the top performer overall, as well as the top performer in 2015. I standardized results in each drill and plotted them on radar graphs to visualize how balanced players’ overall performances were. Check out the breakdown below:

2015 Combine 1999-2015 Combines

All Players 2015Vic Beasley LB, Clemson

  • 40 yard dash: 4.53 sec (2015 avg = 4.79 sec)

  • Shuttle Run: 4.15 sec (2015 avg = 4.37 sec)

  • Vertical Jump: 41 in (2015 avg = 33.6 in)

  • Broad Jump: 12′ 10″ (2015 avg = 9′ 7″)

  • Bench Press: 35 reps (2015 avg = 20.8 reps)

All Players 1999-2015Terna Nande LB, Miami (OH): 2006

  • 40 yard dash: 4.51 sec (1999-2015 avg = 4.80 sec)

  • Shuttle Run: 4.12 sec (1999-2015 avg = 4.38 sec)

  • Vertical Jump: 39 in (1999-2015 avg = 32.9 in)

  • Broad Jump: 10′ 4″ (1999-2015 avg = 9′ 5″)

  • Bench Press: 41 reps (1999-2015 avg = 21.3 reps)

I reiterate here that there is much more that goes into evaluating players than their performance in these five drills. The fact that Nande was not drafted until the 5th round in 2006 attests to that. Furthermore, he 2nd and 4th best performances during since 1999 (Morgan State RB Jay Hinton in 1999 and Georgia Southern RB Jerick McKinnon in 2014) both went undrafted (the 3rd best performer, Maryland TE Vernon Davis was selected 6th overall in 2006). Vic Beasley’s performance this year (by this measurement) was the 5th best Combine since 1999. Beasley is projected as a first round pick, so he’s unlikely to have a draft day experience like Nande, Hinton or McKinnon.

Keep an eye out for some more player analysis leading up to the NFL Draft, which kicks off on April 30th.

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