Don’t worry, they’re still running the 40 yard dash, jumping and bench pressing. Although these historic benchmark drills are still valuable, some of the best insight comes from seeing players move in the on-field drills.
As the NFL announced in ’16 new drills coming to NFL Scouting Combine’ we will be seeing a dramatic shift in many of those drills in this week’s 2020 NFL Scouting Combine. 16 new drills will be introduced with 10 being eliminated. Although some of them seem to simply be renaming existing drills, here are a few highlights:
RB – Introducing better footwork testing in the Duce Staley Drill as well as now running the Angle or Texas route, a critical piece of modern passing offenses.
WR – Adding the end zone fade route
TE – Running all WR routes including new fade route
OL – New Mirror drill with more coach directed movement vs. decision of opposing OL acting as DL
DL – New Run and Club drill and the new Run the Hoop drill, which will be a figure 8 drill showing the pass rusher’s ability to tilt, turn the corner and use their hands.
LB – Two new change of direction coverage drills
DB – Will now run the full WR gauntlet drill as well as 3 new movements coverage drills
None of these new drills are earth shattering but all are positive movements towards more practical application of today’s game and allows scouts to see prospective players in those situations.