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2018 NFL Scouting Combine Preview


AP Images/Michael Conroy

Tuesday, February 27, NFL personnel departments from all 32 teams will descend upon Indianapolis to watch the next generation of football players show what they're made of, as college prospects from across the country participate in the 2018 NFL Scouting Combine.

While the main attraction will be the players running their drills, Jon Gruden will address the media for the first time Wednesday as the Head Coach of the Oakland Raiders (excluding his introductory press conference). Gruden will be joined by coaches from around the league, as well as NFL analysts from across the sports universe.

Also, the Raiders and San Francisco 49ers both finished with the same record in 2017 (6-10), which means there will be a coin flip to decide who gets the ninth and 10th overall picks in the 2018 NFL Draft. The coin flip will take place next week at the Combine. will be in attendance all week, speaking with players, coaches, and analysts, so don't miss out on what we've got in store.

Before that gets underway, however, let's take a closer look at the drills the athletes will be put through, as described by NFL Network's Mike Mayock.

40-Yard Dash

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.

Bench Press

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.

Vertical Jump

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.

Broad Jump

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.

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.

Shuttle Run

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, pivots, and turns 5 more yards and finishes.

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