The NFL Combine is where American football meets speed dating. It is part track meet and part job interview as the 32 NFL teams learn more about the top 330+ college football players from across the United States who will enter April's NFL Draft.
Players are measured, weighed, put through a series of physical tests and interviewed many times over by NFL clubs. And that's all before they carry out drills and practice reps that relate to their specific position on the field.
It is an intense period from Tuesday, February 26 until Monday, March 4 (the on-field portion is March 1-4) but it is a time when players can seriously improve their stock in the eyes of NFL decision-makers ahead of the all-important NFL Draft. And that can result in millions of additional dollars in the bank.
Where is the NFL Combine held?
The Combine is traditionally held each year in Indianapolis, Indiana at Lucas Oil Stadium - home of the Indianapolis Colts.
What kind of tests will the players undergo?
It is the ultimate physical exam, with players weighed and measured for their wingspan, the size of their hands, calves, wrists, arms, legs and torso. Players are also checked for blood pressure, heart and organ function, undergo a series of x-rays and are tested for their flexibility.
In additional to the on-field drills and medical tests, what other tests are players asked to take?
Players are asked to complete a 12-minute, 50-question exam called the Wonderlic test that has been used to assess cognitive ability across multiple industries for many years.The test measure's a personss capacity to think, learn, solve problems and follow instructions.
So what kind of questions are on the Wonderlic test?
A quick Google search produced these example questions. We'll post the answers at the end of this article.
Are the players psychologically tested by the teams?
Yes. And this is an area that the 32 NFL teams put a lot of time and effort in. They want to get right down to the very heart of the player they are considering investing millions of dollars in.
So, what happens when a player survives all of that and finally gets on the field?
Players will go through a series of drills that relate to their positions. Quarterbacks will throw passes, receivers will catch footballs and cornerbacks will showcase their ability to cover downfield and make plays on the ball. And so on.
Then players will be tested in the 40-yard dash, the bench press (how many reps they can do at 225 pounds), the vertical leap, the broad jump, the three-cone drill and the 20- and 60-yard shuttle runs.
The most high-profile of those tests is the 40-yard dash and players can literally make or break their status for the NFL Draft in the course of just over four seconds.
Five to watch at the 2019 NFL Combine
Kyler Murray - Quarterback, Oklahoma - After a mysterious series of media obligations at the Super Bowl, the interview process will be vital in Indy as no team is quite sure how much Murray wants to choose football over baseball. Named college football's best player in 2018, Murray will have plenty of interest.
Dwayne Haskins - Quarterback, Ohio State -There is a great deal of excitement around Haskins and while he is not the finished product, the value of the quarterback position means there will be a great deal of interest in him at the NFL Combine. Even if he doesn't throw in Indy, Haskins can show off his football IQ when teams get him on the board.
Nick Bosa - Defensive End, Ohio State -The younger brother of LA Chargers' pass rusher Joey Bosa could very well be the first off the board on the opening night of the NFL Draft. His time on the field in Indianapolis will be closely monitored after Bosa pulled out of the second half of Ohio State's season with a core muscle injury. He has promised to be "back in action" at the NFL Combine.
Ed Oliver - Defensive Line, Houston - This is a very good draft class for playmaking defensive linemen and Oliver leads the group from the interior. An athletic freak of nature, Oliver is going to turn heads in Indianapolis and will hear his named called early in the 2019 Draft.
Devin White - Linebacker, LSU - A tackling machine and athletic former running back, White is exactly the type of player who makes waves at the NFL Combine. He is a workout warrior who can bench press 405 pounds, squat 637 pounds and leap 34 inches into the air with his vertical jump.
Wonderlic Test Answers