Wide Receivers – Combine Numbers vs. NFL Production

I collected every WR that had at least 80 receptions and/or 1,200 yards since 2007 then eliminated any receivers that did not duplicate 80 rec or 1,200 yards in at least 2 or more seasons (so that one year wonders would not be included).  I compared those “elite” receivers’ combine numbers with the average WR combine participant to see which combine drills were the most important for NFL production.

Average combine participants numbers:

  • Height: 6’1 (73 inches)
  • Weight: 202.3 pounds
  • Arm Length: 32 1/8 inches
  • Hand Size: 9 3/8 inches
  • 40 yard dash: 4.55
  • Bench Press: 15.4 reps
  • Vertical Jump: 35 inches
  • Broad Jump: 120 inches
  • Short Shuttle: 4.25
  • 3-cone Drill: 6.92

Most Important: 40 yard dash.

Only 5 out of our 32 “elite” receivers (that had a recorded 40 time) had a below average 40 time.  2 of those players, Antonio Brown (4.56) and Deandre Hopkins (4.57) were just a shade over.  Another, Wes Welker (4.65), was largely a product of the Patriots’ short passing, high volume system.  That left Jarvis Landry (4.72) and Anquan Boldin (4.65) as true anomalies.  Only 16% of our “elite” receivers had a below average 40.

The second most important measurable was a 3 way tie between Vertical Jump, Broad Jump and Hand Size, as 33% of our elite receivers were below average in those categories.

Third in importance was height.  (12 out of 35 receivers had below average height – 34%)

Fourth in importance was Short Shuttle (8 out of 20 receivers had below average SS – 40%)

Fifth, Arm Length.  (5 out of 12 had below average arm length – 41%)

Sixth, Bench Press. (7 out of 14 had a below average bench press – 50%)

Last, 3-cone.  (12 out of 19 had a below average 3-cone – 63%)

(Note: There were no average times available for 10 or 20 yard splits).

The full results in spreadsheet form can be found here.




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