2016 NFL Combine: Which Players Could Set New Records?
With more than 300 NFL Draft hopefuls in Indianapolis this week trying to impress the 32 teams that have a chance to draft them, a lot is on the line.
Some players will simply be there for medical examinations and team interviews, while others will be performing on-field exercises, and many will be competing in the running, jumping, and lifting drills throughout the weekend.
Each of those said drills currently has a combine record, which some players will attempt to claim as their own. We used the recent combine records on NFL.com and examined which players at this year's combine have a chance to break each one.
Current Record: Chris Johnson, 4.24 seconds, 2008
Potential Record-Breaker: Kolby Listenbee, WR, Texas Christian University
Kolby Listenbee was a vertical threat wide receiver for TCU who caught at least one pass greater than 20 yards in five games last season and led the team with 19.9 yards per catch.
Among all college football players who also ran outdoor track in 2015, Listenbee’s 10.04 second 100 meter dash time ranked first, while his 20.6 second 200 meter dash time ranked second.
That’s faster than Chris Johnson, who was clocked at 10.38 seconds at 100 meters in college.
Adidas is offering $1,000,000 to any player who can break Johnson’s record this year, but there is one kicker: they must be wearing Adidas shoes. Listenbee wore Nike cleats at TCU but would be wise to lace up a pair of Adidas for the combine.
Current Record: Stephen Paea, 49 reps, 2011
Potential Record-Breaker: Andrew Billings, DT, Baylor University
Andrew Billings broke out in 2015 with a team-leading 5.5 sacks and 15 tackles for loss. He made the switch from offensive line to defense in college and won’t turn 21 until March.
As a competitive powerlifter in high school, he broke WWE Superstar Mark Henry’s 22-year-old Texas prep record with a 2,010 pound three-lift total, which included bench pressing 500 pounds.
Billings certainly has the strength to lift much more than the 225-pound combine bench press weight, but it remains to be seen whether he has the muscle endurance to go for 50 reps.
Current Record: Chris Conley, 45 inches, 2015
Potential Record-Breaker: Corey Coleman, WR, Baylor University
Corey Coleman led the nation with 20 receiving touchdowns last season and was named the Fred Biletnikoff Award winner as the best wide receiver in college football.
He has actually already recorded a would-be combine record vertical jump of 45.1 inches. Due to his December sports hernia surgery, he won’t be running at the combine, but will still participate in the Vertical Jump.
If Coleman can repeat this personal best in Indianapolis, he will be the new record holder.
Current Record: Byron Jones, 12’3”, 2015
Potential Record-Breaker: Jalen Ramsey, DB, Florida State University
Jalen Ramsey is a versatile player who appeared at both safety and cornerback throughout college and was named to the All-ACC team both of the last two seasons.
Like Listenbee, he was also a successful track athlete, and his 26’3” long jump was the best of the 2015 outdoor track season among football players. There is a big difference between jumping with a running start and jumping from a standstill.
There is no record of anyone jumping farther than Jones, whether at the combine or not, so Ramsey will be looking at a new world record if he can improve this mark.
Current Record: Jeff Maehl, 6.42 seconds, 2011
Potential Record-Breaker: Leonard Floyd, OLB, University of Georgia
Leonard Floyd led Georgia in sacks across each of the last three seasons by using his speed and ability to bend low to get around the edge.
The 3-Cone Drill requires very short five yard sprints, with tight turns and quick changing of directions. This doesn’t require excellent long distance speed and rather favors explosiveness and the ability to get low around the turn.
Those movements closely emulate a pass rusher exploding off of the line of scrimmage and bending around the tackle to get to the quarterback, which Floyd excelled on at Georgia.
Current Record: Jason Allen, 3.81 seconds, 2006
Potential Record-Breaker: Braxton Miller, WR, Ohio State University
Braxton Miller put his open field speed and agility on display during in 2015 during his only year as a wide receiver, racking up 341 receiving yards and 260 rushing yards along the way.
The 20-Yard Shuttle has been dominated by wide receivers and defensive backs, with 13 of the top 14 times over the past 10 years belonging to those two positions.
Although this record has stood since 2006, Brandin Cooks tied Allen's mark in 2015, and at least one player has come within 0.03 seconds of the record in each of the past three combines. If Miller’s game speed and agility translate to the combine, he can see his name at the top of this list.
Current Record: Brandin Cooks, 10.72 seconds, 2014
Potential Record-Breaker: Artie Burns, CB, University of Miami
Artie Burns is a ball-hawking cornerback who racked up six interceptions in 2015.
He is also an All-American track athlete, whose 7.68 second time in the 60 Meter Hurdles ranks first among all college football players to compete in indoor track in 2014.
After Cooks, the next three best times in this event were put up by defensive backs. Burns is certainly fast enough at 60 meters in a straight line but will need to change direction equally as fast to break this record.