Original Post via: Chicago Sports Nation

The 2020 NFL Draft season officially kicks off on Sunday, February 23, at the NFL Scouting Combine when 337 college prospects, NFL front office personnel, scouts, coaches, player agents, and sports media converge in downtown Indianapolis.
Fans and draftniks will be able to keep up on all the action during the NFL Network’s extensive primetime live coverage.

All eligible college players, those who have completed their senior season and juniors who have declared for the NFL draft were vetted, voted upon and invited by a selection committee.  In 2019, 330 players were invited to the Combine, 117 did not get drafted while 33 prospects who were not invited to the Combine were selected.

Over the next week, NFL teams will be measuring and assessing athletic prowess, intelligence, and character in order to rank prospects within each skill position in preparation for the NFL Draft in April. Invitees have been preparing for this opportunity since the end of their college seasons.


A look at the daily schedule shows prospects will be subject to physical drills, interviews, and medical/psychological testing.


DRILLS

On-field drills and physical testing includes…

  • 40-yard Dash
  • Bench Press
  • Vertical Jump
  • Broad Jump
  • 20-yard Shuttle
  • 3-cone drill
  • Position-specific drills

Many will argue the 40-yard dash doesn’t translate to game speed and it will probably be one of the last times these prospects will ever be required to run one. While this is true, the drill also times the first 10 yards which is a great way to measure explosiveness, something most positions require to be an effective football player.

INTERVIEWS

Each NFL team is allowed to schedule and conduct 60 interviews in 15-minute intervals over the course of the week. Teams have been known to ask a few ridiculous questions.

Would you prefer to be a cat or a dog? Are you afraid of clowns?

MEDICAL AND PSYCHOLOGICAL TESTING

Testing includes physical measurements, a drug screen, injury evaluation, physicals, and the infamous Wonderlic Contemporary Cognitive Ability Test. Since its creation in the 1930s by a Northwestern University graduate student, Eldon F. Wonderlic, the test has been used by the military to test Navy pilots as well as private corporations to test candidates’ intelligence. It was first used in the NFL by legendary Dallas Cowboys coach Tom Landry in the 1970s.

The Wonderlic consists of 50 multiple choice questions to be answered in 12 minutes. The maximum score is 50 with all NFL prospects averaging a score of 21. The average score for quarterbacks is 26. A few recent prospect scores for reference include:

  • Blaine Gabbert – 42
  • Andrew Luck – 37
  • Aaron Rodgers – 35
  • Payton Manning – 28
  • Mitch Trubisky – 25
  • Patrick Mahomes – 24

If you are curious to see how you would rank, a fully timed sample test can be found here.

Photo: Chicago Tribune

ALL IT TAKES IS ONE TEAM TO FALL IN LOVE

While a poor showing at the Combine won’t necessarily drop a top prospect down more than one or two rounds, some off-the-chart measurables from a mid-round prospect will shoot them up a team’s draft board and earn themselves a nice payday.


Each night usually winds down at the historic St. Elmo’s Steakhouse in downtown Indianapolis where NFL owners, general managers, and agents convene for some red meat, a nightcap, some gossip, and a little business.

Featured Image: PFF
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