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NFL Scouting Combine: 2024 events, schedule & dates

The NFL Scouting Combine - the annual event where college players who are eligible for the upcoming draft can impress scouts and decision-makers - takes place this week.

A total of 319 draft prospects were invited to Indianapolis last season to be measured for officially standardized data and participate in physical tests designed to evaluate their skills and abilities.

What goes on in front of the cameras at Lucas Oil Stadium is only half of the story, however, as teams also get to learn exactly what makes these potential stars of the future tick to inform some crucial decisions about moving up or down the draft order.

Click here for all you need to know about the NFL Draft.

WhatNFL Scouting Combine
WhereLucas Oil Stadium, Indianapolis
WhenTuesday, February 27 - Monday, March 4
How to watch                         NFL Network

Combine Drills

The 40-yard Dash garners the most media and fan attention as it can be a crucial barometer for determining how high players in positions where speed is imperative eventually get drafted.

The Bench Press measures pure upper body strength and endurance with the NFL Combine version of the test requiring the players to bench press a 225lb barbell for as many reps as they can, until failure.

The Vertical Leap measures explosiveness and lower body strength while the Broad Jump is another drill that measures lower body strength and explosiveness, but is also a good indicator of balance.

The Three-Cone Drill mainly measures speed and agility, including lateral quickness and change of direction ability, flexibility and body control.

The 20-Yard Shuttle Drill measures short-area quickness, agility, flexibility and the speed at which a prospect can change direction while the 60-Yard Shuttle Drill is typically run by cover linebackers and defensive backs and offensive skill positions including tight end - but quarterbacks and offensive/defensive linemen are not usually required to participate.

How important to the draft process is the NFL Scouting Combine?

The NFL Scouting Combine is considered a crucial part of the draft process, as it provides teams with a standardized set of data on each prospect and helps to ensure that players are evaluated fairly and consistently across all teams.

Combine Records

Last year, two defensive backs posted electrifying times for the 40-yard dash with Tariq Woolen recording a 4.26, which was only bettered by Kalon Barnes' run of 4.23 seconds.

The fastest-recorded dash, a 4.22 from wide receiver John Ross in 2017, ensured he became a first-round pick when the Cincinnati Bengals took him off the board at number nine later that year.

Michael Vick and Robert Griffin III are the joint-holders of the record for the fastest dash by a quarterback, blistering 4.33 runs from back in 2001 and 2012 respectively.

What to watch at the Combine

The quarterbacks will be mainly evaluated on their measurements, game tape, interviews and psychological testing, but any particularly bad performances in the drills could drop them down teams' draft boards.

The position areas that can gain the most are the wide receivers, running backs, defensive backs and linemen due to the importance of speed and strength at those positions.

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