With the 2016 NFL Scouting Combine getting underway, draft hopefuls will be put through a number of drills to test their speed, agility, explosiveness, and strength. Inside the Pylon is publishing a special set of glossary terms to define some of the drills these players face in Indianapolis.
The vertical leap is another test at the scouting combine used to illuminate the explosiveness of an athlete. The test is conducted with the player standing under a pole that contains a number of movable panes attached at every ½ inch. While standing, the player extends his arms and touches the highest pane he can to set a starting reference point. The player then executes a jump from a standing point, without any steps prior to the leap. At the height of his jump the player strikes the panes, touching the highest one that he can. The difference between the starting point and the highest pane he can reach is the athlete’s vertical jump.
Here is a video from NFL.com taking viewers through the movement:
While it is rare for a football player to execute this movement during a game, this test does shed light on the explosiveness of an athlete, and the ability to quickly generate movement and momentum from a static position. The more explosive an athlete is, the better he is at quickly changing direction, beating players off the snap and also demonstrates the agility of a player.