Best of Show: Revisiting Elite Seahawks NFL Scouting Combine Performances
As the calendar quickly approaches March, over 300 NFL hopefuls will descend on Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis next week for the NFL’s annual Scouting Combine.
All 32 NFL teams, including the Seahawks, will be well-represented at the “underwear Olympics” as players participate in weigh-ins, interviews, and a bevy of drills in front of scouts, coaches, and executives starting on Tuesday.
This year's event will be a little different than prior years, as the NFL is looking to cash in by moving workouts to the evening and televising them on their own network. Teams will also be limited to only 45 15-minute interviews after being allowed up to 60 such interviews in the past.
Looking back at the past 10 scouting combines since general manager John Schneider and coach Pete Carroll arrived in the Pacific Northwest, which future Seahawks lit it up at the yearly event?
Here’s a look at the six primary events players will take part in while working out in Indianapolis and some of the best showings in each event by future Seahawks.
Testing strength and endurance, players lift 225 pounds for as many repetitions as possible on the bench press.
- Back in 2010, Oklahoma State tackle Russell Okung lifted 225 pounds 35 times, fourth-most among all participants and first among offensive linemen.
- In 2011, Clemson standout Byron Maxwell finished with the most reps among cornerbacks, bench pressing 225 pounds 24 times. Not bad for a defensive back who only weighed in at 202 pounds!
- Utah State running back Robert Turbin, who may have the biggest biceps for any NFL running back in history, led all backs with 28 reps at the 2012 scouting combine.
- Two years later, Kevin Pierre-Louis of Boston College posted an impressive 27 reps of 225 pounds, finishing second among outside linebackers.
- Three years ago in the 2017 combine, Oklahoma State running back Chris Carson put his incredible strength on display, leading his positional group with 23 reps.
- As part of a sensational all-around workout, UCF linebacker Shaquem Griffin became the story of the combine in 2018, managing to rack up 20 repetitions on bench press while using a prosthetic on his left arm to secure the barbell.
- Displaying his freakish strength for a receiver and living up to the memes circulating on the internet, DK Metcalf tied N'Keal Harry for the most bench press reps by a receiver with 27. Linebacker Cody Barton also flashed surprising strength for an undersized 237-pound linebacker, finishing first in his position group with 30 reps.
Testing straight-line speed and acceleration, players fly out of a three-point stance and sprint 40 yards.
- In most years, Wisconsin quarterback Russell Wilson would’ve finished first in his positional group. But his 4.53 second 40-yard dash time finished second to Baylor star Robert Griffin III in 2012. Linebacker Bruce Irvin finished first in his position group, running his 40-yard dash in a blazing 4.41 seconds and vaulting him into first-round discussion.
- Pierre-Louis emerged as one of the stars of the 2014 combine, finishing near the top of nearly every event, including leading all outside linebackers with a 4.51 second 40-yard dash time.
- Known as one of college football’s most dangerous play makers, Kansas State receiver Tyler Lockett proved his speed on the field wasn’t a fluke, sprinting to a 4.40 40-yard dash time.
- The Griffin twins continued to dominate their respective combines in 2017 and 2018, as Shaquill Griffin and Shaquem Griffin both finished at the top of their positional groups by running identical 4.38 second 40-yard sprints. Thanks to modern technology, fans were able to enjoy seeing the brothers race against one another and cross the finish line at the same time. Schneider and Carroll were in awe.
- Weighing in at 228 pounds, Metcalf ran a ridiculous 4.33 second 40-yard dash, tied for third-fastest among receivers and fifth-fastest for the entire field in Indianapolis. Gary Jennings also ran a respectable 4.42 second sprint, eventually being drafted in the fourth round.
A strict measure of how high each player can elevate off the ground from a standstill position, showcasing explosiveness and power.
- Though he didn’t wow in the 40-yard dash, Stanford cornerback Richard Sherman finished near the top-10 with a 38-inch vertical jump at the 2011 combine.
- North Carolina State defensive tackle J.R. Sweezy, who would transition to guard in the NFL, topped all of his competitors with a 36-inch vertical jump. Incredibly, the 298-pound Sweezy beat Wilson and Irvin by two inches, showing off rare athletic gifts for a lineman.
- Christine Michael’s NFL career never really took off and now he's trying to make it in the XFL, but he put together one of the most impressive combine performances you’ll ever see in 2013. The Texas A&M product posted a ridiculous 43-inch vertical jump and finished first among all players.
- Pierre-Louis continued to elevate his draft stock at the 2014 combine, jumping 39 inches and finishing second among linebackers behind future All-Pro Khalil Mack.
- Weighing in at 271 pounds, former Michigan defensive end Frank Clark managed to jump 38.5 inches at the 2015 scouting combine, good for third in his positional group and the highest for any prospects weighing over 270 pounds.
- Continuing to wow scouts and talent evaluators, Metcalf again finished in the top five among all participants with a 40.5-inch vertical jump. Travis Homer also shined in this event, finishing second among running backs with a 39.5-inch jump.
Also used to test explosiveness, players start behind a line and jump as far forward from a fixed position as possible while landing with both feet.
- Sherman again finished near the top of his positional group at the 2011 combine, jumping 125 inches.
- In one of his better events in Indianapolis, Wilson finished third among quarterbacks by jumping 118 inches back in 2012.
- Seen as a comparable athletic prospect to Adrian Peterson, Michael continued to display his outstanding physical tools with a 125-inch jump, second-best among running backs.
- If you’re tired of seeing Pierre-Louis’s name, well, guess what? He’s not going anywhere. Once again tying with Mack, he jumped 128 inches to finish near the top-10 in the entire 2014 combine field.
- Shaquill Griffin continued to impress at the 2017 combine, finishing tied for 10th overall with a 132-inch broad jump.
- Displaying rare explosion for a player of his size, Metcalf didn't just excel in the vertical jump and once again posted a top-five performance with a 134-inch broad jump last year at Lucas Oil Stadium. Homer excelled in the event, tying Justice Hill for first among backs with a 130-inch jump.
Testing agility and quickness, three cones are spaced out in an “L” shape five yards apart from one another. Players initially run from the starting cone to the middle cone and back, then loop around the middle cone to the far cone before sprinting back around the outside of the middle cone through the start.
- Back in 2012, USC tight end Anthony McCoy ran a sub-7.00 second 3-cone drill, finishing third in his positional group.
- Irvin jumped into the first-round discussion after dominating the 2012 combine, with one of his most impressive feats coming on the 3-cone drill. He sprinted through the circuit in 6.70 seconds, 10th-best overall and first among linebackers. While Wilson finished in the top-five at his position, one of his previous backups and current coaches held the upper hand in this event, as Austin Davis finished first-overall among signal callers.
- Michael continued his dominance against a weak 2013 draft class by topping all running backs with a 6.69-second 3-cone time.
- Alabama receiver Kevin Norwood surprised in the 3-cone event during the 2014 combine, finishing second among receivers by finishing the drill in 6.68 seconds.
- Though he wasn’t drafted by the Seahawks, Tennessee cornerback and current Lions starter Justin Coleman finished first-overall in the 3-cone drill at the 2015 combine, shooting through the drill in 6.61 seconds!
- In 2018, USC defensive end Rasheem Green flashed impressive agility for a player of his size, finishing the 3-cone drill in under 7.25 seconds. Only two other players weighing over 275 pounds posted a better time.
20-Yard Shuttle Run
Testing quickness and change-of-direction ability, players start at a center line with a line five yards apart on both sides. Players sprint five yards in one direction, put their hand on the line, and then reverse course back 10 yards to the far end line before eventually sprinting back through the middle to finish.
- Mark LeGree of Appalachian State, who never appeared in an NFL game after being drafted by Seattle, finished fourth among free safeties by running the shuttle in 4.09 seconds.
- Wilson finished second among quarterbacks by completing the 20-yard shuttle in 4.09 seconds, while Irvin once again wound up near the top of the competition by finishing in 4.03 seconds. Sweezy also finished strong by running his shuttle in 4.41 seconds, which would have been the best time for any offensive linemen.
- Michael and Pierre-Louis put a bow on their elite combine performances by swiftly flying through the shuttle run in 4.02 seconds and finishing first overall at their respective positions.
- Towson standout Tye Smith surprised many in Indianapolis with a top-five finish in the shuttle run, speeding his way to a 3.96-second time. In another major surprise, Clark managed to edge the lighting-quick Lockett, as the 271-pound defensive end finished the 20-yard shuttle in 4.05 seconds. Lockett, who timed in at 4.07 seconds, still finished near the top of the list at his position.
- While he didn’t do quite as well in other events, Ohio State tight end Nick Vannett flew through the shuttle run in 4.20 seconds and finished first in his positional group in 2016.
- Once again showcasing remarkable agility for a defensive lineman, Green wrapped up his combine performance last year with a 4.39-second shuttle run, second-fastest for 275-plus pound defenders.