The next stage in our combine drill preview is a look at the two jumping drills. First, the standing broad jump.
"Remember the broad jump back in middle school? That's about how simple this next drill is," says Mike Mayock, NFL Network's draft analyst. "It is a standing long jump and what does it test? Well, it's all about that lower body and almost every drill we do in every sport is about your power and explosion because the biggest muscles in your body are your butt, your thighs and your quads.
The players "are going to explode out from a balanced, static start. And you'll hear me talk about balance in every drill and this is really important. The way scouts test this is that you have to start (stationary), you can't rock, you can't take a step back, no movement at all except for bending. When you explode out and land, that's the next balance point. Remember, in the NFL, extra steps, slipping, sliding, none of those things work in the NFL. You've got to land your jump and stay on it, almost like an Olympic event. If you fall back, if you fall over, you have to do it again and trust me, the scout and coaches hate when a player has to do things multiple times to get it right one time. They measure the back of your heel and a great distance is about 10 feet."
The other jumping drill at the combine is about height, not distance.
"The vertical jump is very similar to the broad jump in that it's going to test how strong you are with that lower body and those big muscles," says Mayock. "Now, some people naturally just jump high, given a natural, God-given ability to jump. But, I think what it also tests for a lot of coaches and scouts is how often you're in the weight room squatting and doing all those important lower body (exercises) because you can really elevate your vertical jump if you work hard at it.
"So what they do is they measure you with a flat-footed reach. They're not going to let you cheat with your feet, you get your hand up as high as it can go and then at that point they're going to mark it. Now, the differential between that mark and whatever flag they hit after the jump is your vertical jump. Now, remember, no rocker steps, no cheating. They really make you just lock in there, bend and elevate. It's kind of fun to watch some of these guys get up and I always love the D-backs and wideouts because they sky. They average about 40 inches."
To check out Mayock's full combine preview of every drill, click here.
-- Posted by Bo Wulf, 9:00 p.m., February 24