The NFL Scouting Combine could soon be subject to adjustments geared toward modernizing the workouts and other aspects of the event, Tom Pelissero of USA Today reports.
National Football Scouting Inc., which coordinates the combine, is starting a committee comprised of coaches, league executives, trainers, scouts and other key personnel to review the event, starting with this year’s 35th annual combine.
Pelissero points out the combine’s cornerstone tests could be under siege. The 40-yard dash, bench press, vertical jump, broad jump, three-cone drill and shuttle run represent the universal testing portion of the event, with most of these drills being unchanged for decades. The positional workouts haven’t been altered much in this span as well, Pelissero notes.
One of the potential adjustments National Football Scouting is considering is outfitting prospects with data-recording devices, which many teams now use at their respective facilities. A functional movement screen and the Player Assessment Tool, a psychological study that complements the Wonderlic test, have been added in recent years, and the NFL could be moving toward more scientific measures.
The league will conduct its first football performance and technology symposium Wednesday, with Dr. Marcus Elliott — director of P3, which has used 3D motion analysis to measure prospects at the NBA Combine the past two years — will be one of the speakers. P3’s already collected data on about a fourth of this year’s draft pool, per Pelissero.
“Everybody wins when you do these things,” Elliott, also a former physiologist and injury prevention specialist to the Patriots, told Pelissero. “You start choosing players that are slotted more correctly based on their real physical tools, and you also have insight into injuries they’re at risk for, so you can help them prevent those injuries.”
The new committee will also evaluate medical and psychological examinations, according to Elliott. These tests have become invaluable to teams, arguably more so than the on-field work.
This year’s combine runs from Feb. 24-29.