PSU Combine Close-Up

With the NFL Scouting Combine in full swing, PSU fans have been asking what the draft prospects go through during the event in Indianapolis and how the Nittany Lion players are looking. Get an overview of the drills and events the players are asked to participate in. Also, get the most recent measurements on the participating Nittany Lions.

40-Yard Dash

A test of both speed and explosion, the 40-yard dash has the player start from a three-point stance and runs straight ahead, as fast as possible for a distance of 40 yards. The player is timed in 10-yard, 20-yard and 40-yard increments, to gauge the his burst off the line and time to his top speed acceleration.

Bench Press

Clearly this test of strength. The goal of this drill is to bench press 225 pounds for as many reps - a rep is one complete up/down motion - as possible.

Vertical Jump

This event is used to measure the vertical jumping ability of a prospect. This is a measurement that is generally most important for wide receivers and defensive backs. The player stands flat-footed in front of pole with several colored flags attached to it. The bottom of the pole is adjusted to the height of the player's fingertips when extended straight above his head. The player then jumps from a standing position, trying to hit as many of the attached flags as possible.

Broad Jump

This drill measures the horizontal distance a player can jump. Conducted from a standing position, this drill is considered most important to positions that use lower body strength like linemen and running backs. The distance of the broad jump is measured from the starting position to the back of the player's heel which is closest to the starting point upon landing.

Three Cone Drill

Testing speed, agility and directional movements, three cones are set up in a trianglular, or "L" position, with each cone set five yards apart. The player starts in a stationary three-point stance at the first cone. He then sprints five yards ahead to the first cone, reaches down and touches a white line, then sprints back to the starting cone. At the starting cone, he reaches down and touches a white line, then heads back to the second cone. Then he runs outside of the second cone and cuts right to the third cone. He runs a circle around the third cone from the inside to the outside, then runs around the second cone before returning to the starting point. The drill's time is then measured.

20-Yard Shuttle Run

The 20-yard shuttle run tests lateral speed, acceleration and coordination. The player starts in a stationary three-point stance. The player runs five yards to one side, touching the yard line. He then sprints 10 yards in the other direction and again touches the yard line, at which point he sprints back to the yard line he started from. The drill's time is then measured.

60-Yard Shuttle Run

The 60-yard shuttle run tests endurance. It mirrors the 20-yard shuttle run in design, however instead of running five yards, 10 yards and then five yards again, the player runs 10 yards to one side, then back 20 yards and then 10 yards to the starting point.

Position Specific Drills

Players will also participate in drills designed specifically for their position to test the important traits needed for the role on the field.

Physical Measurements

Each player in attendance is measured for height, weight, arm and hand length. Offensive and defensive linemen and running backs are also measured for body fat percentage.

NFL Team Interviews

Each NFL team is has the opportunity to interview up to 60 prospects in attendance. The interviews are conducted at the player hotel. Typically they contain questions designed to determine a player's character, mental approach and football intelligence.

The Wonderlic Test

The Wonderlic Test is designed to test a player's IQ. Each player is given 23 minutes to complete 50 questions. The entire test is rarely completed, and is viewed as a measurement of the player's intelligence.

The Cybex Test

The Cybex Test straps each player to a machine which tests the player's joint movement and flexibility.

Injury Evaluation

Each prospect also has several medical tests conducted on them, including X-rays and physicals. This is used to determine the health of a player as well as the state of any past injuries they may have sustained.

Drug Test

Each player must pass a urine drug test, designed to identify any substances deemed illegal by the NFL.

Penn State Measurements

Here are the results for the Nittany Lions at the combine so far:

Levi Brown, Offensive Tackle

Height: 6-foot-5.4
Weight: 323
Bench: 31 reps
40-Yard Dash: 5.39 sec., 5.40 sec.
Notes & Quotes: Brown started slowly then picked it up as the session progressed. His footwork looked servicable off the left side yet he struggled with most of the drills when simulating a right tackle. -Scout

Tony Hunt, Running Back

Height: 6-foot-1.5
Weight: 233 pounds
Bench: 24 reps
Notes & Quotes: "It wasn't like we had certain backs play certain situations. I played the whole game so I had to be able to run the ball, catch the ball, block, protect the quarterback. I had to do everything." -Hunt

Paul Posluszny, Linebacker

Height: 6-foot-1.5
Weigth: 238 pounds
Hand: 9 1/2 inches
Arm: 33 3/4 inches
Bench: 22 reps
40-Yard Dash: 4.68 sec., 4.67 sec.
Notes & Quotes: "I started playing linebacker in 8th or 9th grade. The appeal is that it is one of the few positions where you can be in on every play no matter what it is - run or pass." -Poslusnzy

Tim Shaw, Linebacker

Height: 6-foot-1.4
Weight: 236 pounds
Hand: 9 1/4 inches
Arm: 31 3/8 inches
Bench: 26 reps
40-Yard Dash: 4.49 sec., 4.43 sec.
Notes & Quotes: "Tim did a great job moving to D-end this year. That was not an easy move for him to make." Posluszny on Shaw

Jay Alford, Defensive Tackle

Height: 6-foot-3.3
Weight: 304 pounds
Hand: 10 inches
Arm: 33 5/8 inches
Notes & Quotes: Alford is an explosive one-gap lineman who could play a three-technique position. -Scout


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