The Atlanta Falcons used what they called a "cutting-edge athletic performance program" Friday on South Carolina defensive end Jadeveon Clowney.
Last week, NFL Media insider Ian Rapoport reported that Clowney wouldn't do any team workouts except for one drill for one team; that drill was expected to take about five minutes and was not deemed physically demanding, which matches up with what happened with Clowney on Friday. That Clowney is doing the test for the Falcons, who own the sixth pick in the draft, has led to speculation that Atlanta wants to acquire the No. 1 overall pick from Houston.
Clowney's test took place with a "force plate." A player moves around on that piece of equipment, which takes all sorts of measurements that are fed into a software program. Presumably, the software enabled the Falcons to look at Clowney's range of motion, how well he moved and how stable he was during that movement.
According to NFL Media reporter Albert Breer, Clowney scored a 71 out of 80 on his speed of movement test, which is comparable to the Falcons' Devin Hester. Breer also reported that Clowney's strength was "at average" for an NFL offensive lineman.
In February, the Falcons announced they have a partnership with Silicon Valley-based Sparta Software Corp., which developed the program. In a release, the Falcons said they will be able "to prioritize player training before and during the season by monitoring player fatigue and injury risk as well as maximizing players' off-field preparation."
The Falcons noted that the software allows for position-specific comparisons.
Mike Huguenin can be reached at email@example.com. You also can follow him on Twitter @MikeHuguenin.