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How We Grade NFL Combine Performance: Matching the Film Based Scouting Reports To Combine Data

Baseline Evaluation:

We review each prospect's scouting report to understand their expected strengths, weaknesses, and overall athletic profile. Note the key attributes that are crucial for their position and how they were evaluated based on their film-based scouting report analysis.


NFL Combine Grade Explanation

Combine Performance Analysis: We then examine each player's NFL Combine results, focusing on the most relevant drills to their position and the attributes highlighted in their scouting reports. For an interior defensive lineman (IDL), relevant drills might include the 40-yard dash (indicative of speed), 10-yard split (initial quickness), vertical and broad jumps (explosiveness and lower-body strength), and bench press (upper-body strength).


Comparison and Contextualization: Compare the player's Combine results to the expectations set by their scouting report.


For example:

  • If a player's scouting report highlights exceptional explosiveness and they rank highly in the vertical and broad jumps at the Combine, this would confirm the scouting analysis.

  • Conversely, if a player is known for strength but performs poorly in the bench press, this might raise questions or indicate an area of discrepancy.

Grade Assignment:

  • Exceptional (9): The player's Combine performance is outstanding across all relevant drills, exceeding expectations based on their scouting report. Their athletic traits are among the top of their position group, confirming or surpassing their projected capabilities.

  • Very Good to Outstanding (7-8): The player performs strongly in most relevant Combine drills, aligning well with their scouting report. They demonstrate the key physical attributes expected of them, with minor areas for improvement.

  • Above Average to Good (6-7): The player performs well in several key areas but may have inconsistencies or areas that do not fully align with their scouting report. They show potential but also areas that need development.

  • Average (5): The player meets the basic expectations in their Combine drills but does not stand out significantly. Their performance matches their scouting report's average attributes but lacks high-end highlights.

  • Below Average to Poor (3-4): The player's Combine results are underwhelming in key areas that are important for their position and do not align with their scouting report's strengths. This indicates a gap between expected and actual physical abilities.

  • Unacceptable to Very Bad (1-2): The player's performance in the Combine significantly underperforms against both the general expectations for their position and the specific attributes noted in their scouting report. This could significantly impact their draft stock and require reevaluation.

Application of the Methodology:

  • Braden Fiske: His NFL Combine performance in both the speed and power metrics was excellent, topping his position group in several key areas. This seems to align with a scouting report that would likely highlight his explosiveness and agility. Assuming his scouting report praises these qualities, his Combine performance could be graded as Exceptional (9) or Outstanding (8), depending on the exact contents of his scouting report.

  • Byron Murphy II: He performed well in the speed and explosiveness categories, aligning with a scouting report likely emphasizing these traits. If his scouting report underscores explosive power and agility, his Combine grades should be Very Good (7) to Outstanding (8), reflecting his above-average performance and alignment with scouting expectations.

  • Kris Jenkins: His Combine performance was good in terms of athleticism and explosiveness, as reflected in his 40-yard dash and broad jump rankings. If these attributes match his scouting report's emphasis on strength and motor skills, his grade would likely be Above Average (6) to Very Good (7), showing a good, but not top-tier, correlation between Combine performance and scouting expectations.

This systematic approach provides a nuanced and detailed evaluation of how well each player's NFL Combine performance aligns with their scouting report, giving a more holistic view of their potential NFL success.

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