What: Quick snapshot of standard height and weight to more specific dimensions, such as hand size and wingspan. Certain players also have their percentage of body fat calculated.
What: As the name implies, three cones are positioned in the shape of a triangle about five yards apart. Players sprint back and forth between cones, eventually zigzagging between and around the cones.
Why: It can reveal a player's ability to cut or stop on a dime, flexibility, and efficiency in transferring body weight. It could reveal players with quickness or injury-recovery concerns.
What: Prospects are required to jump straight up from a standstill. A pole with tag-like pieces of plastic stacked vertically is attached toward the top. The goal is to jump as high as possible with arms extended fully upward and smack the plastic tags, which will rotate if touched.
Why: Besides the obvious for positions like wide receiver or cornerback (leaping ability), it can also test explosiveness or how well a player has recovered from knee or ankle injuries.
40-, 20-, AND 10-YARD DASHES
What: Just as the name implies, it’s simply a straight-line sprint at three different lengths.
It's probably the most recognizable drill and one of the most commonly cited results in scouting reports. Many players will make or break their selected round—and dollars—depending upon how they perform in the 40.
The difference between two-tenths of a second (ex. 4.6 vs. 4.4) may seem minor, but it’s enough to be the difference between a first or second—and for the first time—even third-day selection.
Why: The 10-yard dash identifies initial burst, while the 20 looks to reveal which players are more of build-up-speed guys versus the pure one-speed- burners.
All three tell scouts about how well a player can explode off the snap or line of scrimmage.
What: Similar to the vertical, but instead of gauging how high, this measures how far a prospect can jump from a standing, flat-footed position. It is one of the more basic, long-standing drills performed at the combine.
Why: Measures lower-body strength from more of an overall aspect compared with the vertical jump. Players with tremendous power in their lower core tend to excel with this.
What: From a three-point position, prospects are timed how quickly—and accurately—they can run back and forth between five-yard increments while touching the ground on each side. When that’s completed, they immediately do the same drill at 10 yards.
Why: It's a good indicator of agility, flexibility, and lateral quickness.
(There is also a 60-yard version, which is the same drill, but at longer distances.)
What: It's simply the amount of reps a player can perform a standard bench press at 225 pounds.
Why: It measures upper-body strength and, to a lesser degree, a player’s conditioning level. It's not a concern for kickers and punters, and quarterbacks and wide receivers are not asked to complete this drill.
What: It's not exactly the same as a generic I.Q. text, but pretty close. Players are given around 11 or 12 minutes to complete 50 questions.
Why: It ultimately aims to measure a player’s intelligence level.
Here’s a sample Wonderlic question—not exactly a head-scratcher aimed at Ivy-league graduates:
A girl is 18 years old, and her brother is twice as old. When the girl is 22 years old, what will be the age of her brother?
Note: Joey Harrington scored very well, and we know how that turned out. By no means is it a canary in a coal mine for future NFL success. However, it may tip teams off to how quick or slow a player might need to learn his playbook.
What: Prospects still go through normal physicals and X-rays so any current or lingering injuries don’t catch teams off guard. Players are hooked up to a sophisticated machine that can test their range of motion.
Why: What makes the Cybex test unique is how it provides an accurate analysis of joint flexibility—key for guys with injury concerns.
What: Players will need to submit urine for illegal substance screening.