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Beginner's Guide to the Scouting Combine



WHO:More than 300 NFL prospects as well as team executives, coaches, scouts and medical staffs.

WHEN: Feb. 17-23 (workout schedule below).

WHERE: Lucas Oil Stadium, Indianapolis.

WHY:Each February, hundreds of the best college football players are invited to the NFL Scouting Combine, where all 32 NFL teams conduct an intense, four-day job interview in advance of the NFL Draft.

WATCH: In addition to, NFL Network,, NFL Now and NFL Mobile will each provide extensive coverage of the event.


Friday, Feb. 20: Specialists, offensive linemen, tight ends

Saturday, Feb. 21: Quarterbacks, running backs wide receivers

Sunday: Feb. 22: Defensive linemen, linebackers

Monday, Feb. 23: Defensive backs


40-yard dash

Check out the top 10 best 40-yard dash times, since 2006

The 40-yard dash is the marquee event at the combine. It's kind of like the 100-meters at the Olympics: It's all about speed, explosion and watching skilled athletes run great times. These athletes are timed at 10, 20 and 40-yard intervals. What the scouts are looking for is an explosion from a static start.

Bench press
The bench press is a test of strength -- 225 pounds, as many reps as the athlete can get. What the NFL scouts are also looking for is endurance. Anybody can do a max one time, but what the bench press tells the pro scouts is how often the athlete frequented his college weight room for the last 3-5 years.

Vertical jump
The vertical jump is all about lower-body explosion and power. The athlete stands flat-footed and they measure his reach. It is important to accurately measure the reach, because the differential between the reach and the flag the athlete touches is his vertical jump measurement.

Broad jump
The broad jump is like being in gym class back in junior high school. Basically, it is testing an athlete's lower-body explosion and lower-body strength. The athlete starts out with a stance balanced and then he explodes out as far as he can. It tests explosion and balance, because he has to land without moving.

3-cone drill
The 3 cone drill tests an athlete's ability to change directions at a high speed. Three cones in an L-shape. He starts from the starting line, goes 5 yards to the first cone and back. Then, he turns, runs around the second cone, runs a weave around the third cone, which is the high point of the L, changes directions, comes back around that second cone and finishes.

Shuttle run
The short shuttle is the first of the cone drills. It is known as the 5-10-5. What it tests is the athlete's lateral quickness and explosion in short areas. The athlete starts in the three-point stance, explodse out 5 yards to his right, touches the line, goes back 10 yards to his left, left hand touches the line, pivot, and he turns 5 more yards and finishes.

Check out which NFL players hold best event records since 2006


Below is a look at the top prospects by position, according to NFL Network draft analyst Mike Mayock:**

Check out photos of the QBs in the 2015 NFL Combine

1. Jameis Winston, Florida State 
2. Marcus Mariota, Oregon 
3. Bryce Petty, Baylor 
4. Brett Hundley, UCLA 
5. Garrett Grayson, Colorado State

Running backs 
1. Melvin Gordon, Wisconsin 
2. Todd Gurley, Georgia 
3. Ameer Abdullah, Nebraska 
4. Duke Johnson, Miami (Fla.) 
5. Tevin Coleman, Indiana

Wide receivers 
1. Kevin White, West Virginia 
2. Amari Cooper, Alabama 
3. DeVante Parker, Louisville 
4. Dorial Green-Beckham, Missouri 
5. Devin Funchess, Michigan

Tight ends
1. Maxx Williams, Minnesota
2. Clive Walford, Miami (Fla.)
3. Nick O'Leary, Florida State
4. Tyler Kroft, Rutgers
5. Ben Koyack, Notre Dame


Check out photos of the key offensive linemen at the 2015 NFL Combine

Interior offensive linemen**
1. Brandon Scherff, Iowa
2. Cameron Erving, Florida State
3. Laken Tomlinson, Duke
4. A.J. Cann, South Carolina
5. Tre' Jackson, Florida State

Offensive tackle
1. T.J. Clemmings, Pittsburgh
2. Andrus Peat, Stanford
3. La'el Collins, LSU
4. Ereck Flowers, Miami (Fla.)
5t. Cedric Ogbuehi, Texas A&M
5t. D.J. Humphries, Florida

Interior defensive linemen
1. Leonard Williams, USC
2. Danny Shelton, Washington
3. Malcom Brown, Texas
4. Arik Armstead, Oregon
5t. Jordan Phillips, Oklahoma
5t. Eddie Goldman, Florida State


Check out photos of the key defensive linemen at the 2015 NFL Combine

Edge rushers**
1. Dante Fowler, Jr., Florida
2. Randy Gregory, Nebraska
3. Shane Ray, Missouri
4. Vic Beasley, Clemson
5. Bud Dupree, Kentucky

1. Paul Dawson, TCU
2. Benardrick McKinney, Mississippi State
3. Denzel Perryman, Miami (Fla.)
4. Eric Kendricks, UCLA
5. Stephone Anthony, Clemson

1. Trae Waynes, Michigan State
2. Marcus Peters, Washington
3. Jalen Collins, LSU
4. P.J. Williams, Florida State
5. Kevin Johnson, Wake Forest

1. Landon Collins, Alabama
2. Shaq Thompson, Washington
3. Derron Smith, Fresno State
4. Jaquiski Tartt, Samford
5. Ibraheim Campbell, Northwestern

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