Recruiting: A Combine Results Reference Guide

As Dallas Cowboy DT <B>Leon Lett</b> was showboating, dancing and prancing his way toward the goalline for a would-be touchdown (which would have resulted in a Super Bowl-record for the most points ever scored by a Super Bowl team), Buffalo Bills WR <B>Don Beebe</b> never gave up. Famous for his last-ditch effort to thwart another Cowboy touchdown by punching the ball out of Lett's hands, Beebe will live long in Buffalo Bills' playoff football lore.

Asked what he is most remembered for when meeting fans across the nation, the former Bills/Packers wideout said, "I'm asked more about that one play than anything else I accomplished during my career on the NFL or college gridiron."

Fast forward to today. Beebe and partner Dr. Jeff Schutt are the scouting combine "gurus." They implement the same core specific drills, timed events, weightlifting exercises, and skills and agility tests for their House of Speed enterprise as the NFL Scouting Combine held annually in Indianapolis. Sportslink, a PR firm who also handles the McDonald's All-American Basketball Game, along with the U.S. Army, employs the House of Speed to administer, supervise and coordinate the U.S. Army All-American Scouting Combine for high school underclassmen across the country on an invitation-only basis. IT took in the event and had a chance to visit with Beebe.

Inside Texas: When did you start the House of Speed?

Don Beebe: Spring of '98.

IT: And when did you guys partner up with Sportslink and the U.S. Army for the Army Scouting Combine?

DB: Well, Sportslink actually runs the deal, we just work the kids. But the Army called us last year.

IT: You said that a 4.32 was the fastest 40 time today (Saturday Jan. 4 at the Harlandale Athletic Complex). Correct?

DB: Yes, and that's pretty fast for this turf. This turf has a significant amount of give.

[Note from Dean: I'd rate the surface just a notch faster than rolled out turf, which is slowest surface I've ever seen 40 times clocked on. The kid who ran the fastest 40 with a 4.32 probably could have reduced it 6-7 tenths of a point on a hot and fast surface.]

IT: There's the never ending debate as to how consistent kids' 40 times are from the recruiting services who cover them. Personally, I have a kid who gave me a 4.17. How realistic is that? I mean, have you ever heard of anyone running a sub-4.2 at the NFL Scouting Combine?

DB: There's been a handful of 4.2 forties and only one guy to ever run a sub-4.2 in the history of the NFL Scouting Combine.

IT: Deion Sanders?

DB: Close. Bo Jackson. He ran a 4.19.

IT: Geez...

DB: I know, that's unreal. If a kid tells you he's running a 4.2, I'd tend not to believe it and that's not saying that the kid is telling you a lie or anything, just there's a big disparity in how the kids are timed. At the House of Speed, I do all of the 40 times myself. I'd like to think I'm pretty accurate, but never 100 percent. So, depending on who is clocking the kids, the 40 times could jump a whole tenth, even more.

IT: Let's discuss the various timed events.

DB: We do a 10-yard and 40-yard dash, 3-cone drill for agility and it's replaced the 20-yard shuttle now in Indianapolis (NFL Scouting Combine location), pro agility test, broad jump and vertical jump. Plus, we count the number of bench reps at 185 pounds.

IT: One of things I find intriguing and enjoy studying are the 20-yard shuttle times. You're obviously one of the quickest ever, what's your best time in the shuttle?

DB: 3.89

IT: Jimmy Sutton out of Boca Raton, Florida clocked the same time and is renowned for his quicks, and I'm not sure I've seen a faster time than that, perhaps a 3.81 once, maybe even a 3.79. Would you say 3.89 is about as fast as a guy can get?

DB: You betcha. That's tearing it up. You'll be hard-pressed to find anyone who could run under a 3.8. Again, accuracy comes into play.

IT: I like gauging the kids I cover and have specific parameters in order to categorize when I project their upside, potential, ability. I've studied NFL personnel for over a decade and have my own measuring stick per se for the purpose of evaluating who's elite level and above average at various positions in all of the events you record, save for the 3-cone drill. 40 times, heights and weights, I'm especially comfortable with but would like to get your opinion for comparative analysis on most of the other events.

DB: NFL material or college material?

IT: Two categories. Elite and above average for collegiate personnel.

DB: OK.

IT: But, I study the 20-yard shuttle since the Nike camps still do that one, so can you throw that in there too?

DB: No problem.

IT: Start with 20-yard shuttle and since the NFL has gone to the 3-cone drill, would also like your opinion on that for future reference, and give me both the vertical and broad jumps.

DB: 20-yard shuttle

Skill positions and DBs (DBs are the most athletic guys you'll find) --

4.0 to 4.1 elite/ 4.2 to 4.29 is above average.

LBs and TEs (some linebackers are getting as athletic as some of the running backs, but most are around the same as pass-catching tight ends) --

4.4 elite /4.5 is above average

DEs (some of these guys can really run too)

4.5 elite/4.6 is above average

DTs and OL

4.6 elite/4.7-4.8 above average

3-cone drill

Skill positions

7.1-7.2 elite/ 7.3-7.4 above average.

LBs and TEs

7.5-7.6 elite/7.7-7.8 above average.

DEs

7.7-7.8 elite/7.9-8.0 above average.

DTs and OL

8.1-8.2 is really fast; best linemen are running around 8.2/ but even 8.5 is pulling guard fast.

Vertical jump

(Ballpark estimate with linemen having a lower mark due to the increase in weight.)

Anything mid-30's is elite/ 28-inch to 30-inch is above average.

Broad jump

Elite/Above average

(Ballpark estimate with linemen having a lower mark due to the increase in weight.)

10'6" is the record but 10' is elite/ anything over 9' is above average.

IT: Finally, and thanks for the interview, I always put the magic number of bench reps @ 185 pounds right at 25-27 and same with the NFL @ 225 pounds. Would you say that's throwin' it up with the best and a pretty reasonable barometer for strength?

DB: Yeah, for high school kids, 25 reps is certainly a nice mark and once they fill out in college, 25 reps at 225 pounds is in pretty good company.

For the record, DBs Marcus Walker (Waco) and Bobby Tatum (Ft. Worth Dunbar) were just two of the many gifted athletes from Texas. Subscribers click here for more on Walker, Tatum and some of the other standout underclassmen from the U.S. Army game combine.


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