With several new coaches recently announced, the Seattle Seahawks' football staff heads to Indianapolis, Indiana this week for the 2018 NFL Combine, the League's annual pre-draft assessment held at Lucas Oil Stadium.
At the home of the Colts, Seattle's coaches and player personnel department will spend time evaluating 326 of college football's top professional prospects ahead of the 2018 NFL Draft, which runs April 26-28 at AT&T Stadium in Arlington, Texas. Throughout the next week, the Seahawks and representatives from the NFL's 31 other clubs will look on as athletes participate in a series of off-the-field examinations and on-the-field workouts.
On-field combine drills begin Friday, March 2 with offensive linemen, special teamers, and running backs. The event continues Saturday, March 3 with quarterbacks, receivers, and tight ends and rolls on with defensive linemen and linebackers on Sunday, March 4, wrapping up with defensive backs on Monday, March 5. The action will be televised starting at 6 a.m. PT each day on NFL Network.
In case you're unfamiliar with how the on-field portion of the combine works, or just need a refresher, its measurable drills include the 40-yard dash, bench press, vertical jump, broad jump, 3 cone drill, and shuttle run. Before this year's combine gets underway, we thought it would be worthwhile to take a closer look at what each specific workout is testing for, with all drill descriptions coming from NFL.com.
The 40-yard dash is the marquee event at the combine. It's kind of like the 100-meters at the Olympics: It's all about speed, explosion and watching skilled athletes run great times. These athletes are timed at 10, 20 and 40-yard intervals. What the scouts are looking for is an explosion from a static start.
The bench press is a test of strength -- 225 pounds, as many reps as the athlete can get. What the NFL scouts are also looking for is endurance. Anybody can do a max one time, but what the bench press tells the pro scouts is how often the athlete frequented his college weight room for the last 3-5 years.
The vertical jump is all about lower-body explosion and power. The athlete stands flat-footed and they measure his reach. It is important to accurately measure the reach, because the differential between the reach and the flag the athlete touches is his vertical jump measurement.
The broad jump is like being in gym class back in junior high school. Basically, it is testing an athlete's lower-body explosion and lower-body strength. The athlete starts out with a stance balanced and then he explodes out as far as he can. It tests explosion and balance, because he has to land without moving.
The short shuttle is the first of the cone drills. It is known as the 5-10-5. What it tests is the athlete's lateral quickness and explosion in short areas. The athlete starts in the three-point stance, explodes out 5 yards to his right, touches the line, goes back 10 yards to his left, left hand touches the line, pivot, and he turns 5 more yards and finishes.
3 Cone Drill
The 3 cone drill tests an athlete's ability to change directions at a high speed. Three cones in an L-shape. He starts from the starting line, goes 5 yards to the first cone and back. Then, he turns, runs around the second cone, runs a weave around the third cone, which is the high point of the L, changes directions, comes back around that second cone and finishes.