How Fit Are NFL Players?

(Image credit: Unknown)

Before the beginning of the 2015-2016 season, our friends over at Men’s Fitness attended the Jacksonville Jaguars combine, a brutal scouting week that put hopefuls through their paces. Here are a few of the tests recruits are subjected to and the top performers for 2015 and all time. See how you measure up.

40-Yard Dash

What it tests: Acceleration and speed

What it is: The main event. Athletes sprint from a standing start, aiming to produce as much explosive power and speed as possible. They’re timed at 10-, 20- and 40-yard [36.6m] intervals.

2015 top performer: JJ Nelson, wide receiver (4.28sec)

All-time top performer: Chris Johnson, running back 2008 (4.24sec)

Bench Press

What it tests: Strength endurance

What it is: Rack 225lb [102kg] on the flat bench press and crank out as many reps as (super) humanly possible before you have to dump the bar.

2015 top performer: Ereck Flowers, offensive tackle (37 reps)

All-time top performer: Stephen Paea, defensive end 2011 (49 reps)

RECOMMENDED: How to bench press like an NFL player

Vertical Jump

What it tests: Lower-body explosive power

What it is: How high can you jump? To avoid favouring the giants, this is the difference between the athlete’s standing reach and his max jump reach.

2015 top performer: Chris Conley, wide receiver (45 inches) [1.14m]

All-time top performer: Chris Conley, 2015

Broad Jump

What it tests: Leg strength and balance

What it is: Think long jump without the run-up or sandpit. From a standing start, bound forwards and land with precision. Stumble forwards and you’ve blown it.

2015 top performer: Byron Jones, cornerback (12ft 3in) [3.73m]

All-time top performer: Byron Jones, 2015

3-Cone Drill

What it tests: Agility and co-ordination

What it is: Deceleration and coordination are as essential as top speed. Athletes sprint round an L-shaped course marked with cones, rapidly changing direction.

2015 top performer: Justin Coleman, cornerback (6.61sec)

All-time top performer: Jeffrey Maehl, wide receiver 2011 (6.42sec)

20-Yard Shuttle Run

What it tests: Agility and lateral speed

What it is: Also known as the 5-10-5. The athlete runs five yards [4.6m] to the right, touches a line, runs 10 yards to the left and runs back five yards to the start. Simple.

2015 top performer: Bobby McCain, cornerback (3.82sec)

All-time top performer: Jason Allen, cornerback 2006 (3.81sec)

Sam Rider

Sam Rider is an experienced freelance journalist, specialising in health, fitness and wellness. For over a decade he's reported on Olympic Games, CrossFit Games and World Cups, and quizzed luminaries of elite sport, nutrition and strength and conditioning. Sam is also a REPS level 3 qualified personal trainer, online coach and founder of Your Daily Fix. Sam is also Coach’s designated reviewer of massage guns and fitness mirrors.