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The Fallacy of the NFL Scouting Combine

James Smith


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Contrary to the perceptions of ESPN senior writers, the NFL Combine measures everything that doesn’t matter and nothing that does.


Remember, if everyone knows better, than they'd have done something about it by now
See refutations of the article below and if you're interested in reading about the future of sport coaching, coaching education, and hiring coaches: https://www.amazon.com/dp/194620806X

40yd Dash

  • Why is Doesn’t Matter Too Much: while the concept of starting and accelerating explosively is a premium commodity for the majority of field sport athletes, the 40 itself only has marginal relevance for the American football players whose positional requirements approximate unobstructed linear acceleration over that distance. This brings us to wide outs and corners, punt and kick returners and gunners, and, to a lesser extent, running backs. Most important to understand, however, is that a review of the top 10 wide outs and running backs of all time, demonstrates how few of them earned, or were capable of, “outstanding” performances in the 40

Vertical Jump

  • Why it is Mostly Irrelevant: typically associated with explosive power/ lower body power, those who offer these false claims lack an understanding of Newtonian Mechanics- which is to state the laws that govern macroscopic motion. Knowledge of this utterly fundamental field of subject matter demonstrates that power is a function of time as its component parts (force and velocity) are both functions of time. The result is that any measurement that does not account for the rate of motion per unit time cannot be associated with power. What the vertical jump tests is vertical displacement, regardless of time. In this way, the vertical jump tells most people something different than they think it does and only correlates to competitive situations in which the player’s vertical displacement, irrespective of time, is the determining factor.

20yd Shuttle

  • Why it’s relatively Meaningless: the 20yd shuttle quantifies a motion that, for all intents and purposes, is unobservable in competition. Do you require more argument?

Broad Jump

  • Why it is Mostly Irrelevant: see the explanation for the vertical jump’s relative lack of meaning and replace vertical displacement with horizontal displacement.

Three Cone

  • Why it’s relatively Meaningless: see the explanation for the 20yd shuttle’s relative lack of meaning.

225lb Bench Press for Reps

  • Why it is absolutely Meaningless: the one test whose lack of meaning is recognized by most evaluators. What’s more, however, the endeavor to do a thing as many times as possible, irrespective of time, mandates even more of a re-think.

The argument of primary significance is that the entirety of motions that are quantified at the NFL combine are ones that any athlete could perform exceptionally well in, whilst, not only never having competed in American football, not even knowing how. From this, every year the NFL combine remains as is, is another year in which all associated legislative personnel demonstrate their lack of understanding of what to measure.

Moral of the story: The NFL Combine measures everything that doesn’t matter and nothing that does.

Email James@globalsportconcepts.net for consulting information



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