The 2014 NFL combine is over.
The testing, judging, poking, and prodding of the best and brightest of NCAA football is finally over, and here are some of the things you should take from it.
No one cares how much you bench
Seriously, no one. Jadeveon Clowney is 6’5 and 265 pounds and benched 225 for 21 reps. He also ran a 4.53 40-yd dash. Unless you’re an interior lineman, it doesn’t matter. And, even if that is the case, it is FAR MORE impressive to bench a heavy weight fast for 1-3 reps. A play in the NFL lasts about 5-7 seconds, benching 225 for as many reps as you can is not an accurate predictor of your ability to ‘punch’ at the line. Which brings me to my next point…
This is obvious. If you can’t move fast, you’re not gonna be a good football player. Deion Sanders said it best…
— CollegeFootball 24/7 (@NFL_CFB) February 25, 2014
You should foam roll
Glutes, Back, Hamstrings, Quads, Calves, etc. The best of the best do it, and they’re the best of the best. Your body will thank you.
Preparation is key
Every one of these athletes has the opportunity to climb or slip based on how they perform at the combine. If they don’t prepare properly they will post numbers that are less than expected. If that happens, they may slip lower in the draft. To some of the upper level athletes’, dropping 5 spots in the draft could cost them millions of dollars. Don’t believe me? Check out last year’s top 10 draft picks and the money they made.
|1||Eric Fisher||OT||Kansas City Chiefs||Signed||Four years, $22.19 million|
|2||Luke Joeckel||OT||Jacksonville Jaguars||Signed||Four years, $21.2 million|
|3||Dion Jordan||DE||Miami Dolphins||Signed||Four years, $20.573 million|
|4||Lane Johnson||OT||Philadelphia Eagles||Signed||Four years, $19.853 million|
|5||Ziggy Ansah||DE||Detroit Lions||Signed||Five years, terms undisclosed|
|6||Barkevious Mingo||DE||Cleveland Browns||Signed||Four years, terms undisclosed|
|7||Jonathan Cooper||G||Arizona Cardinals||Agreed||Four years, $14.55 million|
|8||Tavon Austin||WR||St. Louis Rams||Signed||Terms undisclosed|
|9||Dee Milliner||CB||New York Jets||Agreed||Four years, $12.66 million|
|10||Chance Warmack||G||Tennessee Titans||Signed||Four years, $12.6 million|
Every one of those athletes had a Strength and Conditioning Coach preparing them for the big day ahead. It is that important. The same goes for any high school athlete who wishes to play in college. Combines and showcases are just as important for high school athletes-a good showing in the 40 yard dash or vertical jump could mean the difference between getting a D1 scholarship and not getting one. Note: If you need help preparing, click here.
Train your posterior chain
40 yard sprints at 100% are no joke. Your body needs to be prepared for the demands of top end speed.
Unfortunately for Carlos Hyde, the 40 yd dash turned into a torn hamstring for him. Torn hamstrings can result from a variety of things: Tight Hip Flexors, Weak/Tight Hamstring, Glute Inactivity, Improper running form, etc. If you’re preparing for a combine, make sure you have things like Glute Ham Raises, Hip Thrusts, Romanian Deadlifts, and Reverse Hyperextensions programmed in to limit your risk of hamstring injury.
Furthermore, make sure you start at less than 100% sprint speed for the first few weeks and build up from there.
And finally…if you’re gonna fall, do it gracefully like Kenny Ladler