Highlights from last year’s combine.
After dazzling scouts during the Reese’s Senior Bowl, Lumberjack left tackle Alex Cappa has officially been invited to the 2018 NFL Draft Combine, a rigorous job interview for the nation’s best college athletes.
At the combine, Cappa and hundreds of other athletes will go through four days of physical tests, which will help scouts, executives, coaches and doctors from all 32 NFL teams determine how early — or not so early — the teams should select these players during the 2018 NFL Draft.
Here are the workouts as described on the NFL’s website:
The 40-yard dash is the marquee event at the combine. It’s kind of like the 100-meters at the Olympics: It’s all about speed, explosion and watching skilled athletes run great times. These athletes are timed at 10, 20 and 40-yard intervals. What the scouts are looking for is an explosion from a static start.
The bench press is a test of strength — 225 pounds, as many reps as the athlete can get. What the NFL scouts are also looking for is endurance. Anybody can do a max one time, but what the bench press tells the pro scouts is how often the athlete frequented his college weight room for the last 3-5 years.
The vertical jump is all about lower-body explosion and power. The athlete stands flat-footed and they measure his reach. It is important to accurately measure the reach, because the differential between the reach and the flag the athlete touches is his vertical jump measurement.
The broad jump is like being in gym class back in junior high school. Basically, it is testing an athlete’s lower-body explosion and lower-body strength. The athlete starts out with a stance balanced and then he explodes out as far as he can. It tests explosion and balance, because he has to land without moving.
3 cone drill
The 3 cone drill tests an athlete’s ability to change directions at a high speed. Three cones in an L-shape. He starts from the starting line, goes 5 yards to the first cone and back. Then, he turns, runs around the second cone, runs a weave around the third cone, which is the high point of the L, changes directions, comes back around that second cone and finishes.
The short shuttle is the first of the cone drills. It is known as the 5-10-5. What it tests is the athlete’s lateral quickness and explosion in short areas. The athlete starts in the three-point stance, explodes out 5 yards to his right, touches the line, goes back 10 yards to his left, left hand touches the line, pivot, and he turns 5 more yards and finishes.
The combine takes place between February 27 and March 5, and will air live on the NFL Network. The NFL Draft will take place between April 26 and April 28 and air live on ESPN.
Cappa’s value has skyrocketed in the last few weeks. At the beginning of the college football season, Cappa was anticipated to be selected late in the NFL Draft, which is comprised of seven rounds. Now, some analysts suspect he could be taken as early as the second round. This would not only mean major TV time for the big fella, but also a contract potentially worth $1.3 million per year.
A Lumberjack hasn’t played a snap in the NFL since Taylor Boggs took the field for the Arizona Cardinals in 2016. Boggs was signed as a unrestricted free agent out of Humboldt State by the New York Jets, and also played short stints for the Bears and Cardinals between 2013 and 2017. No HSU player has been drafted into the NFL since Scotty Reagan, who was taken in the seventh round by the Minnesota Vikings in 1991.
Cappa is the only player from the Great Northwest Athletic Conference to be invited to the combine this year.