The NFL Scouting Combine is a week-long showcase occurring every February at Lucas Oil Stadium (and formerly at the RCA Dome until 2008) in Indianapolis, where college football players perform physical and mental tests in front of National Football League coaches, general managers, and scouts. With increasing interest in the NFL Draft, the scouting combine has grown in scope and significance, allowing personnel directors to evaluate upcoming prospects in a standardized setting. Its origins have evolved from the National, BLESTO, and Quadra Scouting organizations in 1977 to the media event it has become today.
Athletes attend by invitation only. Implications of an athlete's performance during the combine can affect their draft status and salary, and ultimately their career. The draft has popularized the term "workout warrior", whereby an athlete's "draft stock" is increased based on superior measurable qualities such as size, speed, and strength, despite having an average or sub-par college career. The 2019 NFL scouting combine is scheduled for February 26 to March 4.
Tex Schramm, the president and general manager of the Dallas Cowboys from 1960 to 1989, proposed to the NFL competition committee a centralization of the evaluation process for NFL teams. Prior to 1982, teams had to schedule individual visits with players to run them through drills and tests. The national invitational camp (NIC) was first held in Tampa, Florida, in 1982. It was originated by National Football Scouting, Inc. as a means for member organizations to look at NFL draft prospects. For non-member teams, two other camps were created and used 1982–1984. The NIC was held in New Orleans, Louisiana, in 1984. It was renamed the NFL Scouting Combine following the merger of the three camps in 1985 to cut the cost of running the extra camps. It was held in Arizona in 1985 and once again in New Orleans in 1986 before permanently moving to Indianapolis in 1987.
Sports writers question whether these tests have any relationship with future NFL performance. Empirical research conducted by Brian D. Lyons, Brian J. Hoffman, John W. Michel, and Kevin J. Williams (2011) found that the 40-yard dash, vertical jump, 20-yard shuttle, and 3 cone drill tests have limited validity in predicting future NFL performance. In fact, the Lyons et al. (2011) study suggests that a prospect's past performance in college is a better indicator of future NFL performance than the aforementioned physical ability tests.
At the NFL combine, bench press is used as a test of strength and stamina, in which athletes lift 225 pounds (102 kg) as many times as possible. Since 1998, only eighteen men at the combine have managed to achieve more than 40 "reps" (repetitions).
The NFL's first scouting organization, LESTO (Lions, Eagles and Steelers Talent Organization), was started in 1963 by the teams mentioned in its name with headquarters in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. It became BLESTO when the Bears joined the following year and BLESTO-V when the Vikings came on board later in the decade; by 1971 the Bills, Colts and Dolphins had joined and the group was known as BLESTO-VIII. It is now known simply as BLESTO despite the fact that the Bears and Eagles are no longer members. The group's offices stayed in Pittsburgh until 2007 when the headquarters moved to Jacksonville, Florida, with support offices remaining in Pittsburgh.
CEPO (Central Eastern Personnel Organization), formed in 1964, was a joint venture of the Colts, Browns, Packers and Cardinals. Its name was changed to United Scouting after the Falcons, Giants and Redskins joined, then to National Football Scouting in 1983 to avoid confusion with the United States Football League, which began operations that year. National Football Scouting is now known simply as The National.
Another scouting organization formed in 1964 was Troika, launched by the Cowboys, Rams and 49ers. It was renamed Quadra when the Saints joined in 1967. Quadra no longer exists; its former members now all belong to The National.
As of the 2015 season, eighteen franchises participate in The National (Arizona Cardinals, Atlanta Falcons, Carolina Panthers, Cincinnati Bengals, Dallas Cowboys, Denver Broncos, Green Bay Packers, Houston Texans, Kansas City Chiefs, New Orleans Saints, New York Jets, Philadelphia Eagles, Los Angeles Rams, Los Angeles Chargers, San Francisco 49ers, Seattle Seahawks, Tampa Bay Buccaneers, and Tennessee Titans), with eight served by BLESTO (Buffalo Bills, Detroit Lions, Jacksonville Jaguars, Miami Dolphins, Minnesota Vikings, New York Giants, Pittsburgh Steelers, and Washington Redskins). Each of the six non-affiliated teams (Baltimore Ravens, Chicago Bears, Cleveland Browns, Indianapolis Colts, New England Patriots, and Oakland Raiders) relies on its in-house scouting staffs.
In a typical year, there are about 330 invited players. About 250 invitations are sent before bowl games are completed to those who have completed their seasons. However, underclassmen have until mid-January to confirm their draft status. Invitations are made to those receiving supermajority support from the selection committee.
The combine however is not without its critics. Sports writer Steve Silverman explains, in an article he wrote, what happened to Terrell Suggs in 2003. Suggs was a star player for Arizona State but when Suggs ran a slow 4.83 40 he was downgraded. Later, he became a star player for the Ravens. Doug Tatum of Times-Picayune argues that it is unlikely players will be asked to run a 40-yard dash again during their career. Silverman says that the best way to scout is to simply watch them play. Others think the value in the 40 depends on the position; Daniel Jeremiah, a former scout and an analyst on the NFL Network says "The position where the 40 holds the most weight is cornerback. If you're a receiver who runs a 4.6 like (Anquan) Boldin, but you have short-area quickness and strong hands, the 40 isn't a big deal. But if you're a cornerback who runs a 4.6 and you're facing a receiver who runs a 4.4, it doesn't matter how good your ball skills are."
The NFL scouting combine was first shown on television in 2004. Media and cameras were historically prohibited, but with the launch of NFL Network on November 4, 2003, six installments of one-hour shows to recap the day's events aired in February 2004. NFL Network has exclusive access to the Scouting Combine, whereas ESPN, a competitor network, does not. NFL Network aired two hours of combine workouts for each workout day in 2005, 26 total hours of coverage in 2006, 27 hours in 2007, and 25 hours in 2009. It began airing over 30 hours of Combine coverage starting in 2010, which received 5.24 million viewers.
Beginning in 2011, a series of eleven regional combines for players not invited to the main scouting combine, as well as other free agents, were held in eight cities (Los Angeles, Houston, Baltimore, Tampa, East Rutherford, Chicago, Atlanta, and Cleveland) from January to March. The best players from these regional combines were invited to the NFL super regional combine at Ford Field in Detroit in late March. In 2016, the NFL went away from this format only holding five Combines in Houston, Arizona, Baltimore, Minnesota and New Orleans.
The first NFL Veteran Combine was scheduled on March 22, 2015 at the Arizona Cardinals's team facility. The combine corresponded with the NFL owners' meetings also being held in Phoenix from March 22–24, 2015. The combine featured veteran free agents, and all 32 clubs in attendance. There were over 2,000 applications from players to participate, although only a select few were chosen. Some of the notable players included Adam Carriker, Felix Jones, Michael Sam, and Brady Quinn. However, only two players participating in the combine (linebacker Brandon Copeland and tight end Ifeanyi Momah) were still on NFL rosters by Week 1 of the 2015 regular season.
The NFL cancelled the planned 2016 Veteran Combine, citing a lack of player interest.
On December 16, 2016, the NFL announced it would bring back the veteran combine renaming it the Pro Player Combine and focus its attention on younger players instead of veterans trying to get another chance in the NFL.
The 20-yard shuttle, also simply called the short shuttle, is a test performed by American football athletes at the NFL combine. It is primarily run to evaluate the quickness and change-of-direction ability of players by scouts, particularly for the NFL Draft but also for collegiate recruiting. Although not as highly regarded a test as the 40-yard dash, it is still an important barometer used by NFL personnel to compare players. Canadian football also uses the shuttle test.2017 Washington Huskies football team
The 2017 Washington Huskies football team represented the University of Washington during the 2017 NCAA Division I FBS football season. Chris Petersen led the team in his fourth season as head coach. Washington competed as a member of the North Division of the Pac-12 Conference and played their home games on campus at Husky Stadium in Seattle. They finished the season 10–3, 7–2 in Pac-12 play to win a share of the North Division title with Stanford. Due to their head-to-head loss to Stanford, they did not represent the North Division in the Pac-12 Championship Game. They were invited to the Fiesta Bowl where they lost to Penn State.2018 Washington Huskies football team
The 2018 Washington Huskies football team represented the University of Washington during the 2018 NCAA Division I FBS football season. Chris Petersen led the team in his fifth season as head coach. Washington competed as a member of the North Division of the Pac-12 Conference and played their home games on campus at Husky Stadium in Seattle.40-yard dash
The 40-yard dash is a sprint covering 40 yards (36.58 m). It is primarily run to evaluate the speed and acceleration of American football players by scouts, particularly for the NFL Draft but also for collegiate recruiting. A player's recorded time can have a heavy impact on his prospects in college or professional football. This was traditionally only true for the "skill" positions such as running back, wide receiver, and defensive back, although now a fast 40-yard dash time is considered important for almost every position. The 40-yard dash is not an official race in track and field athletics and is not an IAAF-recognized race.
The origin of timing football players for 40 yards comes from the average distance of a punt and the time it takes to reach that distance. Punts average around 40 yards in distance from the line of scrimmage, and the hangtime (time of flight) averages approximately 4.5 seconds. Therefore, if a coach knows that a player runs 40 yards in 4.5 seconds, he will be able to leave the line of scrimmage when a punt is kicked, and reach the point where the ball comes down just as it arrives.Bradley Bozeman
Bradley Bozeman (born November 24, 1994) is an American football center for the Baltimore Ravens of the National Football League (NFL). He played college football at Alabama. He was a starter as a junior and senior and was a team captain as a senior. Despite being a 2017 Rimington Trophy finalist, Bozeman was not invited to the NFL scouting combine.Brian Robinson (American football)
Brian Robinson (born c. 1974) is a former American football player. He played at the safety position for the Auburn Tigers football team in 1993 and 1994. As a junior in 1994, he led the Southeastern Conference with eight interceptions, including three against a Florida team that was ranked nationally No. 1 at the time. Robinson was a consensus selection as a defensive back on the 1994 College Football All-America Team. He left Auburn after his junior year to participate in the 1995 NFL Draft, but he was not selected. The Associated Press in April 1995 reported that the omission of Robinson from the draft was "not totally unexpected" after he tested positive for marijuana and performed poorly at the NFL Scouting Combine.Brian Roche
Brian Roche (born May 5, 1973) is a former American football tight end in the National Football League for the San Diego Chargers, Kansas City Chiefs, and Dallas Cowboys after having been drafted as the 81st overall draft pick by the San Diego Chargers in the 1996 NFL Draft. He was a former AP and Football News All American at San Jose State with 68 catches and 729 yards his Senior Year. He played in the East-West Shrine Game and Hula Bowl All Star Games after his senior season as well as attended the NFL Scouting Combine in Indianapolis, Indiana.Carlton Davis
Carlton Davis III (born December 31, 1996) is an American football cornerback for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers of the National Football League (NFL). He played college football at Auburn.Combine
Combine may refer to:
Combine (enterprise), an industrial business group in socialist countries, particularly the former Soviet Union
Combine harvester, or combine, a machine to harvest grain crops
Combine car, or combine, a type of railroad car which combines sections for passengers and freight
Combine Music Group, a defunct music publisher
Combine painting: type of artwork closely associated with Rauschenberg
Combine, Texas, U.S.
COMBINE, a computational biology initiative
The Combine (Australian film industry)
The Combine (Group)
Combine (Half-Life), a fictional alien enemy force from the Half-Life franchise.
A sports combine, an event held by certain professional sports leagues to evaluate prospective players, such as:
AFL Draft Combine in Australian rules football
CFL Combine in Canadian football
NBA Draft Combine in basketball
NFL Scouting Combine in American footballCullen Harper
Cullen Harper II (born October 1, 1986) is a former American football quarterback. He was drafted in the 2009 NFL Draft and signed with the Buffalo Bills for the 2009 season. He played college football at Clemson.Cullen Harper grew up in Alpharetta, GA and attended Sequoyah High School. He was a two year starter at QB for the Chiefs. He earned scholarship offers from Clemson, South Carolina, Auburn, Ole Miss & Duke amongst other schools in the south east. Harper committed to Clemson in 2003 the summer before his senior year of high school. Harper was selected to play in the North-South Georgia All-Star Game at the conclusion of the 2004 high school football season.
Harpers career began at Clemson in 2004 where he red-shirted the 2004 season while learning behind long time NFL QB Charlie Whitehurst.
In 2005 & 2006, Harper was back up QB.
In 2007, Harper began his run as a two year starter at Clemson. He broke 28 school records while passing for 3,000 yards and throwing 27 touchdowns to just 6 interceptions. He was named 2nd Team All-ACC behind Matt Ryan. Harper was the recipient of the Banks McFadden award, which goes to the top player in the state of South Carolina.
In 2008 Harper was voted Preseason ACC Player of the Year and 1st Team All-ACC. Harper threw for over 2,600 yards and 13 touchdowns and lead the ACC in passing in just about all categories. The Clemson Tigers earned an invite to the Gator Bowl where they squared off against the Nebraska Cornhuskers.
While at Clemson, Cullen Harper set 22 school records and was a two time team captain as voted by his teammates. He threw for a total of 5,762 yards with a 64% completion percentage to go along with 42 touchdowns and 20 interceptions. He also rushed for another 5 touchdowns.
In 2009 Harper played the Senior Bowl, the nations top all-star game, where he played QB for the south team. He was also an invitee and participant in the NFL Scouting Combine held in Indianopolis. Harper was invited to camp with the Buffalo Bills and saw limited action.
Cullen Harper is now married and living in Charleston, SC where he is a 4th year dental student at the Medical University of South Carolina.Darrien Gordon
Darrien Jamal Gordon (born November 14, 1970) is a former professional American Football player who played cornerback for 10 seasons in the National Football League (1993–2002). During his NFL career, he played for 5 different teams and in 3 Super Bowls. Before his NFL career, Gordon played for Stanford University. Since the NFL Scouting Combine began in 1985, he is one of three players who have been drafted in the first round after not being invited to the combine.Gordon spent his first 4 years in the NFL with the San Diego Chargers, assisting the team to a championship appearance in Super Bowl XXIX. He started all 16 games in each season with the Chargers, and excelled both on defense and as a punt returner on special teams. His best season with San Diego was in their Super Bowl year of 1994, when he recorded 4 interceptions and 2 fumble recoveries on defense, while gaining 475 yards on punt returns and scoring 2 punt return touchdowns, the most by any player that season.
In 1997, Gordon joined the Denver Broncos and had another superb season, recording 4 interceptions for 64 return yards and a touchdown, while recovering 4 fumbles. He also had a great year as a punt returner, gaining a career-high 543 yards and scoring a league leading 3 touchdowns. His team finished the season with a 12–4 record and made it to Super Bowl XXXII, where Gordon won his first championship ring. In the following season, the Broncos recorded a 14–2 record and made it back to the Super Bowl again. Gordon's performance in Super Bowl XXXIII was a key factor in Denver's 34-19 win over the Atlanta Falcons. He intercepted 2 passes from Falcons quarterback Chris Chandler in the end zone during the fourth quarter and returned them for a total of 108 yards, setting up 2 Broncos touchdowns that put the game out of reach. His 108 interception return yards were a Super Bowl record. He also was a big factor in Denver's win over the New York Jets in the AFC title game that year, intercepting two passes from Vinny Testaverde and returning a punt 36 yards to set up a Terrell Davis touchdown.
As of 2017's NFL off-season, Darrien Gordon held at least 16 Broncos franchise records, including:
Punt Returns: playoff season (7 in 1998), playoff game (5 on 1999-01-17 NYJ)
Punt Ret Yds: game (168 on 1997-11-09 CAR), playoffs (162), playoff season (93 in 1998)
Yds/PR: career (12.46), game (33.6 on 1997-11-09 CAR), playoffs (14.73), playoff season (13.29 in 1998)
Punt Ret TDs: game (2 on 1997-11-09 CAR; with Rick Upchurch)
Interceptions: playoffs (5), playoff season (4 in 1998), playoff game (2 on 1999-01-17 NYJ and 1999-01-31 N-ATL; shared with 2 others)
Int Ret Yds: playoffs (156), playoff season (156 in 1998), playoff game (108 on 1999-01-31 N-ATL)Gordon spent the next 2 seasons with the Oakland Raiders, and then 1 year with the Falcons in 2001. His final season in 2002 was spent with the Raiders, where he made his fourth championship appearance in Super Bowl XXXVII. He retired after the Raiders 48–21 loss to Tampa Bay Buccaneers in the game.
In his 10 NFL seasons, Gordon recorded 335 tackles, 5 sacks, 19 interceptions (which he returned for 330 yards), 40 pass deflections, 4 forced fumbles, and 7 fumble recoveries on defense (returning them for 127 yards). On special teams, he recovered 10 fumbles, returned 314 punts for 3,601 yards, and gained 70 yards on 5 kickoff returns. At the time of his retirement, his 3,601 punt return yards were the 3rd most in NFL history.
Overall, Gordon gained 4,128 total non-offensive yards and scored 9 non-offensive touchdowns (2 interception returns, 1 fumble return, and 6 punt returns).
Gordon was born to James and Goldia Gordon. He graduated from Shawnee High School in 1989 where he was an All-State football player and two-time state champion wrestler as well as an honor student.
Gordon was arrested for using a racial slur and attacking a much older man at a local Target in Fort Worth, TX in 2014. He said "I hate white people. Like you. I hope you all die." Then proceeded to try to kill him by pummeling him and kicking him. “... He tried to kill me by pushing me into an on(coming) lane of traffic and choking me,” Redelsperger said in his deposition. The victim was able to get his license plate and police later arrested him. Thinking he was let off with a mere slap on the wrist, the victim sued Gordon and was awarded $750,000 for pain and suffering.Isaac Hilton
Isaac Hilton (born February 26, 1981 in Long Beach, California) is an American football defensive lineman. He was drafted out of Hampton University by the New York Giants, but was cut before the beginning of the season. He then played briefly for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and the Carolina Panthers, and later played for the Arena Football League and Toronto Argonauts. In 2009, while playing for the arenafootball2 Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Pioneers, Hilton was arrested and charged with possession of 70 bags of marijuana with the intent to distribute them.At the 2004 NFL Scouting Combine, Hilton urinated on himself while being examined by scouts and coaches.J. C. Jackson
Jerald Christopher Jackson (born November 17, 1995) is an American football cornerback for the New England Patriots of the National Football League (NFL). He played college football for the Maryland Terrapins. Following the 2017 NCAA football season, Jackson declared for the 2018 NFL Draft and participated in the 2018 NFL Scouting Combine.John Lott (American football)
John Lott (born May 9, 1964 in Denton, Texas) is a former NFL offensive tackle and current American football coach for the Los Angeles Chargers who became most famous as a strength and conditioning coach for several National Football League teams and for being the coach at the bench reps session at the NFL Scouting Combine. His "soundtrack" is very popular and the NFL Network puts a microphone on him during every workout.
He started as an offensive lineman for the University of North Texas and was named All-Conference twice and All-American his senior year. Lott was a team captain and was even the strongest man in school history. He was a brother of Theta Chi. He played two seasons for the Pittsburgh Steelers and New York Jets before joining his alma mater at North Texas to oversee the eleven Varsity programs. In 1991, he was named strength and conditioning coach for the University of Houston where he stayed until 1996. A year later he was hired by the New York Jets where he was the strength and conditioning coach for eight seasons, from 1997 until 2004. He worked with Ken Whisenhunt on the Jets team in 2000. From 2005–2006 he was the strength and conditioning coach for the Cleveland Browns before being hired by the Cardinals in 2007. He was signed by the Los Angeles Chargers in 2017 as part of new coach Anthony Lynn's rebuilding of the team. Lott reunites with Ken Whisenhunt for the first time since working together with the Cardinals in 2013.List of programs broadcast by NFL Network
The following is a list of programs broadcast by the NFL Network.Mike Wallace (American football)
Burnell Michael "Mike" Wallace III (born August 1, 1986) is an American football wide receiver who is currently a free agent. He played college football for Ole Miss, and was drafted by the Pittsburgh Steelers in the third round, 84th overall of the 2009 NFL Draft. He has also played for the Miami Dolphins, Minnesota Vikings and Baltimore Ravens. Throughout his career, Wallace has been known for his speed after finishing with a time of 4.33-seconds in the 40-yard dash at the NFL Scouting Combine.Pita Taumoepenu
Pita Taumoepenu (born March 9, 1994) is an American football linebacker for the San Francisco 49ers of the National Football League (NFL). He played college football at Utah.Ralph Kohl
Ralph Anson Kohl (August 21, 1923 – June 11, 1997) was an American football player, coach and scout. He played at the tackle position on the University of Michigan's undefeated 1947 and 1948 football teams. He signed to play with the Baltimore Colts, but a knee injury prevented him from playing in the NFL. He was an assistant football coach at Eastern Michigan University (1952–1954) and a head coach at Franklin College (1955–1956) and Eastern Illinois University (1957–1964). From 1964 until his retirement in 1993, Kohl worked as a professional football scout. He was considered the top scout in the BLESTO NFL scouting combine in the 1960s and 1970s and served as the head scout for the Minnesota Vikings for two decades.Rayshawn Jenkins
Rayshawn Jenkins (born January 25, 1994) is an American football safety for the Los Angeles Chargers of the National Football League (NFL). He played college football at Miami. He was drafted by the Chargers in the fourth round of the 2017 NFL Draft.