Feb. 25, 2010
Former University of Cincinnati football players Mardy Gilyard and Tony Pike head to Lucas Oil Stadium Thursday to begin the 2010 NFL Scouting Combine in Indianapolis, Ind.
The combine is the annual job fair for prospective new NFL players. For four days, players are put through a series of drills, tests, and interviews with more than 600 NFL personnel, including head coaches, general managers, and scouts.
All players will go through the same four-day rotation during the Combine, simply starting it on different days this week. Here's what the schedule looks like:
- Day 1: Travel, registration, pre-exam and X-ray, orientation, interviews
- Day 2: Measurements, exams, media, psych tests, interviews
- Day 3: NFLPA meeting, psych tests, interviews
- Day 4: Workout (timing, stations, skill drills), departure
Full coverage will be available on the NFL Network and online at NFL.com/combine.
Both players are coming off successful appearances at the Under Armour Senior Bowl in Mobile, Ala. in January.
Gilyard was named the offensive player of the game after racking up 103 yards receiving and catching a 32-yard touchdown pass in the fourth quarter to help lead the North to a 31-13 victory over the South. He also returned two kicks for 52 yards and gained 24 on two punt returns.
Pike, considered to be the top-rated NFL prospect among the participating quarterbacks in Mobile, was the North starter and looked solid in a brief outing. He was 5 of 12 for 45 yards all in the first half. Gilyard caught two of those passes for 21 yards.
Gilyard, a first team All-American selection by the American Football Coaches Association, was named the BIG EAST Special Teams Player of the Year for the second straight year this season and was a first team All-BIG EAST selection at wide receiver and kick returner. He led the conference and finished second in the country with 2,690 all-purpose yards and was also tops in the BIG EAST in receiving yards (1,191), receiving yards per game (91.62), receptions per game (6.69), punt return average (12.63 ypg) and kickoff return yardage (1,281).
The Bunnell, Florida native finished his career as Cincinnati's all-time leader in receptions (204), receiving touchdowns (25), receiving yards (3,003), all-purpose yards (5,904), kickoff returns (93) and kickoff return TDs (4).
Pike was a first team All-Big EAST selection in 2009 after leading the conference with 2,520 passing yards. Despite missing three games due to injury, Pike also led the BIG EAST in total offense--averaging 252.6 yards per game. The 6-6, 225 pound quarterback threw 29 touchdowns this season and helped the Bearcats to a Big EAST conference title.
For his career, Pike threw for 5,018 yards and 49 touchdowns, finishing fourth and second respectively on Cincinnati's all-time list. He finished his career by throwing a touchdown in 17-straight starts and holds a school record for completion percentage (61.7).
A BREAKDOWN OF NFL COMBINE DRILLS (COURTESY OF NFL.COM)
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, explodse 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.