No. 1 - The 40-Yard Dash
Wear This: Nike Vapor Laser Talon Cleat
As Seen On: (Pictured above from left to right) Marquise Goodwin, Cordarelle Patterson, Ziggy Ansah
The most talked about event of the NFL Combine, the 40-yard dash allows prospects to show off their speed and explosiveness and they try to put up the best time possible. Each runner is timed at ten, twenty, and forty-yard intervals, so start with timing your fastest ten and build to forty to build up your endurance while testing your speed. Scouts have their eyes on explosive finishes and record-breaking times, so when you're hitting the yards make sure to make it count in the last few yards. The shoe of choice for this event was the newest cleat from the Swoosh, the Nike Vapor Talon Cleat, so we suggest going for a lightweight track inspired cleat if you're looking for a shoe that pays attention to traction so you don't have to.
No. 2 - The Bench Press
Wear This: Under Armour Spine RPM
For the bench press, each athlete has the same amount of weight at 225 pounds. So stack up and push for the long haul, keeping in mind that most NFL hopefuls are pushing through to a total of 35 reps, with the highest amount maxing out at 49 reps total. Equip yourself with a training shoe that can provide some traction on the gym floor without distracting from the upper body strain with the Under Armour UA Spine RPM.
No. 3 - The Vertical Jump
Wear This: Nike Lunar TR, Nike Zoom Revis
As Seen On: Luke Joeckel, Geno Smith
The vertical jump helps to measure lower-body strength, so this is a great challenge to take home. First, the prospect's reach is measured as they stand flat footed, then they jump in attempt to reach the highest flag point. The final vertical jump measurement is the difference between the flag touched and the athlete's initial measured reach. To do this at home, set up 3 goals for this exercise: the first point should be at a height you can hit every time as a "standard" starting point, the second being one you can hit on only your best attempts, and finally, your vertical limit for a real challenge. Basketball shoes may seem like the go-to shoe in this instance, but for NFL hopefuls training shoes get the job done. Smith opted for the Zoom advantage in the Nike Revis signature, while Joeckel went for more of a training shoe in the Lunar TR.
No. 4 - The Broad Jump
Wear This: Under Armour UA Blur CBN40
As Seen On: Luke Ingram, Luke Joeckel, and Bjoern Werner
Another test for lower-body strength and power, the athlete begins in a balanced stance and attempts to jump as far as possible. The player must also have a clean landing, which makes this an accurate measure of balance. Whether you're measuring your distance or not, this is an efficient drill for any athlete. The popular choice for broad jumpers seemed to be Under Armour's latest spring cleat, the UA Blur CBN40, a 5 oz cleat offering stability and support needed to stick tougher landings.
No. 5 - The 3-Cone Drill
Wear This: Nike Zoom Vapor Fly
As Seen On: Bruce Irvin
With three cones situated in an L-shape, the 3-cone drill tests the prospect's ability to shift directions at their peak speeds. To do this at home, run 5 yards to the first cone and return, then to the second cone to weave around the third and loop back around the second, completing the drill while maintaining a quick pace. Bruce Irvin stole the show on this one in the Nike Zoom Vapor Fly, making it look easy in the high top football cleat.
No. 6 - Shuttle Run
Wear This: Nike Zoom Vapor Fly
As Seen On: Kendall Wright
Also commonly known as the 5-10-5, the Shuttle Run tests the player's lateral quickness and speed bursts in short areas. Beginning in a three-point stance, first sprint 5 yards to the right, touch the marking line with your right hand, then sprint ten yards to the left and touch the marker with your left hand, finish with a pivot and 5 final yards. Again the Nike Zoom Vapor Fly is a great option as ankles stay protected with the high top build, while the lightweight construction offers the speed and comfort advantage for quick turns and sprints down the field.
No excuses now, starting training hard and tell @SneakerReport about your cleat of choice.