Welcome to our week-long series previewing the 2014 NFL combine in Indianapolis on Feb. 22-25. Throughout the week, Dr. Saturday's Nick Bromberg will go through seven of the drills that NFL draft prospects go through at the combine. Up first, the broad and vertical jumps.
I'm not an NFL prospect. And neither are you, unless you're currently playing college football.
If you've watched the NFL scouting combine at all, you've likely wondered how you would do against the hordes of college players vying to be drafted by NFL teams. I can answer that: You would do poorly.
I went through seven drills from the combine; the broad jump, vertical jump, bench press, 20-yard shuttle, 60-yard shuttle, three-cone drill and 40-yard dash. I wanted to see what it looks like when someone who isn't an elite athlete tries to measure himself up against future professional football players.
My goal was simple, though it proved much harder than I thought. I wanted to beat a non-lineman in as many events as possible. If I had a combine profile, it'd look like this:
I'm not terribly unathletic; I played sports throughout my teenage years and I've channeled that passion into the weight room as an adult. (I'm a Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist.) But with the exception of the bench press – the exercise I was expecting to do the poorest in – I didn't specifically train for any combine drill. I wanted to approach this as spontaneously as possible.
The broad and vertical jumps are tests of lower body explosivity and power and are very straightforward. Both are from a standing start, and on the broad jump, the goal is to jump as far forward as possible. On the vertical, you're simply jumping straight up. I took the best of three attempts.
The 2013 combine broad jump standard was set by current New England Patriots LB Jamie Collins (Southern Miss), who jumped 139 inches (Or over 11 feet). The shortest jump was by former Louisiana Tech OL Oscar Johnson, who got 88 inches.
My best broad jump? 92 inches. That tied me for third-from-last with Jamaal Johnson-Webb and Matt Stankiewitch. The lowest non-lineman was former Tennessee and current Kansas City Chiefs QB Tyler Bray. He jumped 100 inches.
I was slightly more optimistic about my vertical. I've always harbored dreams of dunking a basketball, though they're dimming by the month. Seattle Seahawks RB Christine Michael (Texas A&M), jumped 43 inches last year. At 5-10, he has no issues dunking.
I knew I wasn't going to get a number quite like that, but I felt confident I'd beat the 20.5 set by OL Mark Jackson, formerly of Glenville State.
I did by four inches. My 24.5 inch vertical put me tied with Raiders OL Menelik Watson (Florida State) and ahead of 16 other linemen. But it wasn't enough to catch Tampa Bay Buccaneers QB Mike Glennon (North Carolina State), who was the lowest ranking non-lineman with his 26.5 inch vertical.
Yes, that's an 0-fer on the first video, with the bench press looming next.
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