Carlos Guevara, Huffines Producer
With the NFL scouting combine going on in Indianapolis, the biggest job interview for the NFL hopefuls there are the many drills that make or break players. At the combine, there are drills that the athletes take place in and these drills transfer into their professional career. Some of which are the 40-yard dash, the vertical, and the broad jump. So, what is it about these drills that make such a huge impact on the professional game? Well it is the fact that football is evolving more and more every year that there is a need for there to be something that can set players apart.
The 40-yard dash is not just about the full 40 yards but more each segment plays a specific role to the game. The first 10 yards can go a long way for a receiver and pass rusher. For a receiver, it is those first 10 yards of the play where they will be performing their cuts in their route, and quick 10 yard splits recorded will most likely contribute to being a great slot receiver. A great 10-yard split is 1.55 seconds and under, and a good one between 1.56-1.59. Now we can compare these numbers to this past seasons sack leader Vic Beasley, who is 30 pounds heavier than most receivers yet can put up a 10-yard split of 1.59. This is scary for a man who is going after a quarterback, and his vertical and broad jump are something that can make an offensive line shake in their cleats. Beasley put up a vertical of 41” and a broad jump 10’ 10”, numbers that can excite any front office on draft day. Now why does being able to jump high and long make a 230-275 pound pass rusher make NFL teams salivate over these prospects? The reason why is because of the explosiveness required to put up impressive numbers in the vertical and broad jump. The jumps both require the athlete to perform from a stand-still position so all the power begins from the lower body. The quick rise from the jumps can transfer to the pass rusher getting out of their stance quickly and generating enough power to blow past the offensive lineman to get to the quarterback.
These drills are just a few examples of how much importance is put behind drills in general, and how vastly they transition into the game. Having great numbers like Beasley can be a sneak preview of what an all-pro sack leader is made of.