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How to read the player charts
Many of the country's top prospects don't participate in the NFL's combine, held each spring in Indianapolis. Some players think they can only damage their prospects. Some hold their own workouts, usually on campus.
40 -- 40-yard run (in seconds). Some NFL teams believe this is the most important test run in Indy. The 40 is more than the finishing time (which usually is an average of the two 40s the player runs at the combine). While players are running the 40 -- no rocking at the start, please -- they're also timed over 10 yards and 20 yards. The times show how explosive a player is off the line and how he maintains it. The 10s and 20s are critical for a lot of players -- linemen need to get off the line as quickly as wide receivers. But the finishing times show if a player is in shape, which relates to dedication and character. A burning speed can make the difference between a high-rounder and an also-ran.

BP -- Bench press (measured by repetitions). This tests the upper-body strength of a player. It's really the only strength test a player goes through in preparation for the Draft. It's most important for linemen, whose upper-body strength is critical in the trenches. Some players -- quarterbacks and wide receivers -- don't do the bench press at Indy. The standard weight to be benched is 225 pounds.

SS -- Short shuttle (in seconds). It's a 20-yard drill designed to test how players bend and change direction. Players begin straddling a line on the field, then push off to their right, touch the line 5 yards to their right with their right hands, go back 10 yards and touch the line on their left with their left hands, then run back through the starting line. The test also measures explosiveness and lower-body strength. Like all the tests, scouts also watch how under control a player is.

LS -- Long shuttle (in seconds). A 60-yard test. Instead of facing across the field and changing directions, this is simply an out-and-back test. Players begin on a line, go out 5 yards, touch the line, return to the starting line and touch it. Without stopping, they then do the same thing 10 yards out and, finally, 15 yards out. Again, lower body strength (the explosiveness off the line), flexibility and body control are tested. It's also a subtle test of endurance. Linemen don't take part in this test.

VJ -- Vertical jump (in inches). This is designed to test leg strength and explosiveness. From a standing start, players leap straight up. For some scouts, this is as important as the 40. It measures lower body explosion, and can be as important for the wideouts as it is for the linemen.

BJ -- Long jump (in feet and inches). It's kind of an extension of the vertical jump. It's also done from a standing start. Short long jump numbers can show sluggishness, heavy-leggedness, a lack of explosiveness.

Grade -- This is the Ourlads' Scouting Services player rating. The higher the number, the better-rated the player. Ratings are expressed on a scale of 1-10 and are calculated to slot players based on their perceived value as NFL players. The ratings are based on Ourlads' player evaluations and rank a player within his position. The grade also has the function of stacking players when all positions are mixed together. For players who can fill multiple positions, the rating is based upon the primary position.

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