The NFL Combine is back in full effect, and scouts and coaches from all 32 teams gather to analyze the best of the draftable talent. Among medical and psychological evaluations, players will undergo workout and position drills that best highlight their athleticism and talents.
Of the six standard workout drills these players participate in, one of the more important drills is the vertical jump. This is far more than just a measurement as to how high a player can get, but rather a show of how strong their legs are and the possible burst they get from that set of muscles.
Sure, this drill shows scouts which players might be more successful in a Hail Mary situation, but it goes beyond that. The drill requires the combine attendees to start flat-footed with their arms extended above their heads to first measure their reach. Once this is established, the player jumps as high as he can, as indicated by a series of flags.
The vertical jump is surprisingly useful in evaluating linebackers and defensive linemen. This shows scouts how low they can get and how much power they can get off the line. Each participant will get two chances to record his best number, with the all-time recorded standing at 46 inches by Gerald Sensabaugh in 2005.
Chris Conley came close two years ago with a 45-inch jump, but no one in last year's Draft class managed to come close. Running back Daniel Lasco and defensive back Jalen Ramsey led the pack in 2016, tying for the lead with respective 41.5-inch jumps.