NFL could consider changing scouting combine drills

Friday February 27th, 2015

The NFL could consider changing the drills it uses to test players at the annual scouting combine, according to a report from

Director of Football Development Matt Birk said at the MIT Sloan Sports Analytics Conference on Friday that the league will study data compiled from games this season.

Among the physical tests and drills that have been used at the combine are the 40-yard dash, vertical jump and bench press.


"That's a project we'll be working on this offseason," Matt Birk, the league's director of player development, said Friday. "Once we look at the data that was gathered in-game this year, it may be important to know how fast a wide receiver or defensive back can go 60 yards. Maybe for an offensive lineman it's only 20 yards.

"We can actually see that in-game: how far are these guys running? What are the real or improved measures of importance and value as it relates to evaluating players and whether or not they should be drafted in the first round or the sixth round?"

"We run the 40-yard dash in Indianapolis. Why? The only reason anyone can ever give you is, that's how it's always been done," Birk said.

The combine has been held in Indianapolis since 1987.

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