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CFL Combine Performances To Watch For

CFL Combine Performances To Watch For




Frequently Asked Combine Report Questions

How is 'combine score' calculated

I calculate combine score by taking all valid tests completed by an individual athlete, doing the math to find the percentile they have achieved for each of those tests when compared to all past participants of CFL combines at the same position and averaging those percentiles. Valid numbers averaged include the bench press, 10 yard, 20 yard, 40 yard, vertical jump, broad jump, shuttle and three cone. Height, weight, arm length and hand size are not included in combine score because size does not determine the worth of a player, especially in the CFL. With that said, it is important to reference height and weight when judging a players speed and power so those metrics are included in the radar charts.

How are the percentiles calculated?

I have manually entered data for all tests completed from regional and national combines since 2001 in order to create a "master data" file. This file is separated into positional groups so that athletes of a different position are not being compared and separate tests so that a slow 40-yard dash time does not influence a 10-yard percentile. From this "master data" file I can enter the the test results of new combine participants and produce a number telling me where the new athlete stands against those of the past which allows me to find comparable in the draft evaluation process.

Why should I care about combine results? They mean nothing..

Combine results are not the end all, be all of player evaluation. As a poor tester during my playing days and a member of a rather athletically unspectacular 2011 Vanier Cup championship team I can confirm that there are far more meaningful metrics. With all that being said, the combine is a great chance to see where players stack up against each other and certain minimum standards such as bench press for lineman for 40-yard dash time for skill position players must be met in order to validate doing a further evaluation.

Is there any way to tell whether a good combine performance means anything to a players success?

In the near future I will be doing some work on this to confirm or dismiss the idea that a good combine performance signals the type of player teams will get in the draft. As for right now, just know it varies widely in a very individualistic manner.

The CFL has been around forever, why isn't there more combine data available before 2001?

Sometimes it just takes a while to realize the data being accumulated could be of use to people in the future..

What if you judge a player against one positional group and he switches to another after being drafted?

While it is out of my controlI do try to go back and re-do a players radar chart and percentiles who switches positions. A prime example of this is Brad Sinopoli who tested as and was drafted as a quarterback only to become a receiver of high value three years later upon returning to Ottawa where he played quarterback in university. Being compared against two different positional groups history and thus sets of data changes the perspective on a guy like Sinopoli as seen below.

2011 national combine tests vs. receivers all-time

2011 national combine tests vs. quarterbacks all-time

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