2020 NFL Scouting Combine: Complete List of 16 New Drills for Predraft Event

Paul KasabianSenior ContributorFebruary 21, 2020

INDIANAPOLIS, IN - MARCH 02: Quarterback Daniel Jones of Duke passes the ball during day three of the NFL Combine at Lucas Oil Stadium on March 2, 2019 in Indianapolis, Indiana. (Photo by Joe Robbins/Getty Images)
Joe Robbins/Getty Images

The NFL Scouting Combine's drill portion will receive a major overhaul in time for this year's event, which will take place in Indianapolis from Sunday, February 23 through Monday, March 2 in Indianapolis' Lucas Oil Stadium.

Per Nick Shook of NFL.com, 16 new drills will be added to the mix, while 10 old ones will be eliminated.

Here's a look at the new drills in, the old drills out, the workout schedule and some further notes.

     

New Drills

Quarterbacks: End zone fade, timed smoke/now route drill

Running backs: Duce Staley drill, inside routes with change of direction

Receivers and tight ends: End zone fade

Offensive line: New mirror drill, new screen drill

Defensive line: Run and club drill, run the hoop drill

Linebackers: Shuffle, sprint, change of direction drill, short zone breaks drill

Defensive backs: Line drill, Teryl Austin drill, box drill, gauntlet drill

There is also an added wrinkle to the offensive line drills, per Shook.

"Pull drills will include engaging a one-man sled instead of a bag," Shook wrote. "Inclusion of 'rabbit' is eliminated in pass rush drops and pass pro mirror drill, with a coach's hand motion changing direction of lateral slide in latter drill."

   

Eliminated Drills

Quarterbacks: End zone fade, timed smoke/now route drill

Running backs: Pitch and cone drill, find the ball drill

Receivers and tight ends: Toe tap drill

Offensive line: New mirror drill, new screen drill

Defensive line: Stack and shed drill

Linebackers: Pass drop

Defensive backs: Close and speed turn, pedal and hip turn

      

Workout Schedule

Thursday: Tight ends, quarterbacks and wideouts

Friday: Place kickers, special teams, offensive linemen, running backs

Saturday, February 29: Defensive linemen, linebackers

Sunday, March 1: Defensive backs

   

Notes

The aforementioned changes to the process aren't the only ones coming.

Per Kalyn Kahler of Sports Illustrated, combine drills will now be televised in the late afternoon and prime-time hours.

That change is the "impetus for even more tweaks to the combine, in position-specific drills, player interviews and team turnout" per Kahler.

Jeff Foster, the president of National Football Scouting Inc., also noted the bench press may be axed for "a pure strength test that would better project to functional football strength," per Kahler.

The bench press won't be going anywhere this year, but other drills will be.

Of note, the defensive back drills have received a complete overhaul, with four new drills in and two out.

One of them is named after former defensive coordinator and current Pittsburgh Steelers secondary coach Teryl Austin. Shook explained how the drill works.

"First, a player will back pedal five yards, then open and break downhill on a 45 degree angle before catching a thrown ball. Then a player will back pedal five yards, open at 90 degrees and run to the first coach and break down, then plant and turn around (180 degrees) to run toward a second coach and catch a ball from thrown by a QB before reaching the second coach."

Austin isn't the only person to have a new drill named after him, with ex-NFL running back and current Philadelphia Eagles running back Duce Staley receiving the honor as well.

Shook explained the drill in part:

"The drill will involve a running back lining up behind a horizontal step-over bag that is part of three bags laid to form a cross. The running back will step over the bag in front of him, then laterally over the perpendicular bag, then backward over the other horizontal bag before repeating the path in the opposite direction."

Off the field, teams are now limited to interviewing 45 prospects in the draft as compared to 60 last year, per Kevin Patra of NFL Network. However, the interview time has increased from 15 to 18 minutes.

Combine activity begins for players on Sunday, when tight ends, quarterbacks and wideouts arrive in Indianapolis, register, undergo orientation and interview with teams.  

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