If you've been an avid watcher of the , then you're going to notice something is off in 2020.

Not only is the event being moved to primetime (instead of morning/afternoon), but there will be brand new drills to keep track of. And this isn't a small change. The NFL Combine has added 16 new drills while removing 10, and changed some things about existing drills.

Jeff Foster is the president of NFL Scouting Inc., which is the company that runs the combine. Speaking to Sports Illustrated, Foster explained the proce s behind changing the drills. He said he spoke with five general managers who held conference calls to discu s what to change.


The majority of the combine drills are antiquated and have limited relevance, . If we want to evolve, sure, there will be a gap of time without Blank Jersey the ability to compare current to past, but we need to focus more on the future.

Some of the changes to existing drills include simply adding a timer. According to SI, drills likethe gauntlet, and the W drill will now be timed.

The idea is to make it more competitive for the group of players, Foster told SI. See if that data helps us as an evaluation, and also make it more exciting for the fans and on TV.

So just what are these new drills? We'll break them down below by position, with help from .


QuarterbacksEnd zone fade

The fade route will be added to routes thrown from quarterbacks to receivers. This will be a 10-yard route to the right side of the end zone. The fade route is a controversial play because many view it as a waste of time. The Ringer wrote an article explaining why "." Despite many critics, teams still like using this play in red zone situations, so it makes sense why it was added to the combine.

Timed smoke route

As SI describes it, the smoke route "is a short route, a one Erick Fedde Jersey -step hitch that is popular in run pa s option plays which are now a staple of NFL offenses." The drill will be quarterbacks throwing two pa ses to a receiver using this route. The QB will throw one route on each side of the field consecutively. This drill will be timed from the quarterback's hands to the receiver's hands.

Running BacksDuce Staleydrill

You probably recognize the name as the former Eagles running back. Per NFL.com, this drill involves a running back "lining up behind a horizontal step-over bag that is part of three bags laid to form a cro s.The running back will step over the bag in front of him, then laterally over the perpendicular bag, then backward over the other horizontal bag before repeating the path in the opposite direction.Coaches lined up eight yards away holding pop-up dummies will move in coordinated fashion, creating a hole for the running back to identify before exploding through it."

Basically this drill tests a running back's ability to use his eyes downfield while also dealing Kyle McGowin Jersey with the physical obstacles in front of him.

Inside routes

This drill is pretty simple, and anyone who has played Madden 20 has probably used one of these routes before. We included an image of what the play looks like in Madden below. With the league utilizing running backs in the pa sing game more, it makes sense why they'd add in drills that focus on a back's ability to catch the ball. E sentially this drill is just making running backs run the angle route, and testing how well they perform.


Eliminated: Pitch and cone drill, find the ball drill

These two drills will no longer Wander Suero Jersey be a part of the combine testing for running backs.

Wide Receivers / Tight EndsEnd zone fade

We described this event in the quarterback section. Same thing, but in addition to testing out quarterbacks it will also test the players receiving the ball.

Eliminated: Toe tap drill

The toe tap drill, , is no longer part of the combine.

Offensive LineMirror

Per NFL.com: "Player lines up at set point between middle of two cones roughly six yards apart and slides laterally left and right based on coach's direction."

The NFL Combine has had similar mirror drills for offensive linemen in the past. Below is video from 2010 of what that drill looks like.

But this year will have coaches in that role instead of a defensive player acting as the "rabbit." Foster told SI,The rabbit doesnt typically make those movements any other time, so why would we have him do it then? And then we have him turn around and do the drill, that is not reflective of todays game.


From NFL.com: "Player will set in pa s protection position, then release and sprint toward first coach holding blocking shield 15 yards wide of starting point to simulate engage and release action of a screening lineman.If the first coach steps upfield, player must adjust direction and advance to second coach, at whom he will break down and engage. If first coach remains stationary, player will break down and engage him."

According to SI, this drill was added "so evaluators can see the offensive linemen's speed in blocking on screen plays."

Defensive LineRun and club

From NFL.com: "Five stand-up bags are in a vertical line, five yards apart, with the final bag including "arms". The defender will fire out of a three-point stance and run through the bags, clubbing the first with his right arm, spinning on the second bag, clubbing the third bag with his left arm, ripping through Ryan Zimmerman Jersey the fourth bag and flattening downhill to slap bag with arms to simulate a strip."

This sounds like a very intense drill for defensive linemen, but basically it will allow them to showcase a number of abilities. It will allow them to show their strength with clubbing on each earm, and their agility with how well they can spin on the second bag. Then it shows the physicality with the final flattening of the fourth bag.

Run the hoop

From NFL.com: "Two Yan Gomes Jersey pa s-rush hoops are laid on the ground two yards apart, forming a figure eight. Two towels are inside the hoops, one in each. The player lines up at a start cone (to right of hoops) in a three-point stance, fires off at movement of a ball on a stick (simulating snap), runs around the first hoop, picks up the towel with his left hand, cro ses to the second hoop and drops the towel, continues around the second hoop, picks up the towel with the right hand and cro ses back to the first hoop and drops the towel before finishing through the start cone."

SI adds this drill is common at pro days and that this will be timed drill at the combine.

The video below is not a replica of this drill, but if you're new to defensive line drills it can help paint a picture of what to expect.

Eliminated: Stack and shed drill

The Run and Club drill kind of fills the need of this, so that's likely why it was removed.

LinebackersShuffle, sprint, change of direction

Per NFL.com, defenders will "start in a two-point stance