What Is the NFL Combine?

Since 1985, the NFL Combine has given college football players the platform to show off their skills. What all happens at the Combine?

There is a dead period in the NFL offseason after the Super Bowl where news is quiet. For college football players, however, the real work begins as they prepare for the NFL Draft. Their biggest event before the draft is the NFL Scouting Combine. Here is a more in-depth look at what the NFL Combine is and what it all entails.

What Is the NFL Combine?

The NFL Scouting Combine is a week-long event that gives the top college football prospects the platform to show off their skills in front of all 32 NFL teams. It’s the players’ opportunity to have their draft stocks raised to get selected higher and potentially make more money in the process.

Typically, around 300 players will run through multiple individual skills throughout the week to show their football skills. This week also includes a chance to meet with NFL teams and conduct interviews, as well as take tests to show their football and overall cognizant skills.

Over the last almost two decades, the event has become a critical event in the NFL Draft process and something fans look forward to as well. NFL Network has full coverage of the week’s events.

How Does the NFL Combine Work?

The roughly 300 prospects who participate in the Combine will run through multiple individual drills that involve every player participating. Here are the drills that every player participates in:

  • 40-yard dash
  • Bench press
  • Vertical jump
  • Broad jump
  • Three-cone drill
  • 20-yard shuttle
  • 60-yard shuttle

There are position-specific drills that take place during the Combine as well. Players will participate in interviews with teams that are interested in them.

For players’ health, there are physical evaluations to see where players are at with weight and height, as well as tests for any injuries. There are drug screenings for each player and a test called the Cybex that tests the players’ physical bodies.

When Did the NFL Combine Start?

Before the NFL Combine became the phenomenon it is today, NFL teams had to schedule individual visits with players they were interested in and had them run drills for them.

KEEP READING: Fastest Wide Receiver 40-Yard Dash Times in NFL Combine History

The first Combine to have multiple teams involved was in 1982 when the National Invitational Camp held its camp in Tampa, Florida. For three years, three camps were competing with each other. To cut costs, though, they combined in 1985.

Where Is the NFL Combine?

Arizona was the first location of the combined camp in 1985. In 1986, they moved the event to New Orleans. Indianapolis would come into the picture in 1987 and become the Combine’s permanent home.

The event originally took place at the RCA Dome in Indianapolis. It would eventually get moved to Lucas Oil Stadium, where the Combine has been ever since. It will continue to be the host stadium and city through 2025.

All the 2024 NFL Draft resources you need — the draft order, the top QBs, the Top 100 prospects, and the full 2024 Big Board — right at your fingertips at Pro Football Network!

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