NFL combine drills explained: Broad jump

Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

The Underwear Olympics are upon us, which means the draft process is in full swing once more.

Although it may not seem like jumping ability has much -- if any -- impact on a player's ability to play football, the broad jump is one of the key drills at the NFL Scouting Combine. While more than 300 players will participate, the broad jump is all about explosion and balance.

A player's ability to jump is rarely going to be put to use on a football field, but his burst and short-area quickness are used on every play. The broad jump is designed to see how well a player can burst out of a balanced stance while maintaining balance through the drill. Players jump forward from a standing position, landing balanced. The jump attempt does not count if the player moves forward or backward after landing.

Considering the ability to explode from a set position is one of the key traits for a number of positions, the broad jump can actually be quite telling. Top pass-rushing prospects typically record a broad jump of at least 10 feet with many of the skill position players jumping even further.

In the past, some of the best broad jumps have come from a variety of positions. In 2013, Southern Miss linebackerJamie Collins jumped 11 feet, 7 inches, an NFL combine record. He was ultimately drafted in the second round by the New England Patriots.

In 2011, Julio Jones, then a wide receiver for the Alabama Crimson Tide, jumped 11 feet, 3 inches before being drafted sixth overall by the Atlanta Falcons.

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