The 2023 NFL Scouting Combine will provide more than 300 draft-eligible prospects with an opportunity to showcase their skills in front of all 32 teams. While posting the best numbers doesn’t guarantee success, setting NFL Combine records will boost a prospect’s draft stock.
Fans recognize the 40-yard dash as the biggest event of the NFL Combine. While it receives the most attention and NFL Network’s Rich Eisen plays a big part in it, other drills hold plenty of importance. From the bench press to the 20-yard shuttle, everything plays a part in the evaluation process for NFL teams.
Related: 2023 NFL Combine guide
Thanks to things like the 40-yard dash, bench press and broad jump, we gain a better understanding of who are the strongest and fastest players in the NFL. Even if breaking NFL Combine records doesn’t mean that prospect becomes a star, their name will be remembered.
Let’s dive into all the NFL Combine records that you need to know.
NFL Combine records: History on the line at 2023 NFL Scouting Combine
Most bench press reps
Players at the combine in Indianapolis are tasked with going through a bench press workout, lifting up 225 pounds (102 kg) in a determination of their strength and endurance. As we look at the NFL Combine record for the bench press, it should come as no surprise that defensive linemen take up most of the leaderboard.
- Stephen Paea – defensive tackle – 49 reps – 2011 NFL Combine
- Mitch Petrus – offensive lineman – 45 reps – 2010 NFL Combine
- Jeff Owens – defensive tackle – 44 reps – 2010 NFL Combine
- Dontari Poe – defensive tackle – 44 reps – 2012 NFL Combine
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Stephen Paea holds the NFL record for most bench press reps at the combine. A 6-foot-1 defensive tackle, his strong performance in Indianapolis resulted in him being picked 53rd overall by the Chicago Bears. Paea’s career lasted seven seasons, recording 14 career sacks and 24 tackles for loss.
UCLA defensive tackle Otito Ogbonnia had the most bench press reps at the 2022 NFL Combine with 29 reps, followed by Michigan running back Hassan Haskins (27) and Oregon edge rusher Kayvon Thibodeaux (27).
Highest Vertical Jump
At the combine, the vertical jump serves as an opportunity for NFL teams to see how explosive a prospect is. The drill also displays a player’s lower-body explosiveness, physical traits that translate very well to the next level.
Former Dallas Cowboys defensive back Gerald Sensabaugh holds one of the unofficial NFL Combine records for the bench press. However, it isn’t counted since the NFL relies on data beginning with 2006.
- Chris Conley – wide receiver – 45 inches – 2015 NFL Combine
- Donald Washington – cornerback 45 inches – 2009 NFL Combine
- Byron Jones – cornerback – 44.5 inches – 2015 NFL Combine
- A.J. Jefferson – cornerback – 44 inches – 2010 NFL Combine
- Obi Melifonwu – safety – 44 inches – 2017 NFL Combine
- Juan Thornhill – safety – 44 inches – 2019 NFL Combine
No one at the 2022 NFL Scouting Combine came particularly close to setting the vertical jump record. However, Seattle Seahawks cornerback Tariq Woolen (42 inches) and New York Jets running back Breece Hall (40 inches) had two of the highest vertical jumps.
Best Broad Jump at NFL Combine
The broad jump, otherwise known as the standing long jump, tasks a player with jumping forwards as far as they can from a standing position. It lowers explosiveness and lower body strength, abilities that matter for defensive backs, linebackers and wide receivers.
What is the farthest broad jump?
- Byron Jones – cornerback – 12’3″ – 2015 NFL Combine
- Obi Melifonwu – safety – 11’9″ – 2017 NFL Combine
- Emanuel Hal – wide receiver – 11’9″ – 2019 NFL Combine
- Juan Thornhill – safety – 11’9″ – 2019 NFL Combine
- Miles Boykin – wide receiver – 11’8″ – 2019 NFL Combine
Appearing twice on the list of NFL Combine records, cornerback Byron Jones had one of the best overall performances in NFL history. It led to him becoming an All-Pro cornerback (2018) and eventually becoming one of the highest-paid NFL players.
At the 2022 NFL Combine, Green Bay Packers wide receiver Christian Watson and Pittsburgh Steelers slot receiver Calvin Austin III posted the best broad jumps.
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Fastest 3-cone drill time
The 3-done drill is ideal for evaluating how players handle changing direction at full speed. It’s similar to the 20-yard shuttle, with the athletes starting from a three-point stance and running five years ahead to the next marker. They tap the line, sprint back to the starting line and tap it then make their way around all three cones (L-formation) before sprinting through the line.
Heading into the 2023 NFL Scouting combine, here are the records for the fastest 3-cone times.
- Jordan Thomas – cornerback – 6.28 seconds – 2018 NFL Combine
- Jeffrey Maehl – wide receiver – 6.42 seconds – 2011 NFL Combine
- Buster Skrine – cornerback – 6.44 seconds – 2011 NFL Combine
- Scott Long – wide receiver – 6.45 seconds – 2010 NFL Combine
- David Long – cornerback – 6.45 seconds – 2019 NFL Combine
In terms of comparison to his peers, Jordan Thomas has one of the best NFL Combine records ever when factoring in the gap between him and the second-fastest time. However, he didn’t make it in the NFL and the list of the best times highlights that the leader in 2023 isn’t guaranteed a career in pro football.
NFL Combine records: Fastest 20-yard shuttle
In a 20-yard shuttle run, a player starts from a three-point stance and sprints five yards to his right, taps the ground and runs 10 yards back. After hitting the 10-yard marker, the player touches the ground and then bursts forward for 5 yards. NFL teams use it to evaluate players’ change-of-direction ability and hip flexibility.
Related: 2023 NFL Draft picks by team
Here are the official NFL Combine records for the fastest 20 yard shuttle time.
- Brandin Cooks – wide receiver – 3.81 seconds – 2014 NFL Combine
- Jason Allen – cornerback – 3.81 seconds – 2006 NFL Combine
- Bobby McCain – cornerback – 3.82 seconds – 2015 NFL Combine
- B.W. Webb – cornerback – 3.84 seconds – 2013 NFL Combine
- Justin Simmons – safety – 3.85 seconds – 2016 NFL Combine
- Desmond Trufant – cornerback – 3.85 seconds – 2013 NFL Combine
Needless to say, Brandin Cooks demonstrated that he is more than just an elite athlete. Tied for the fastest 20-yard shuttle in NFL Scouting Combine history, Cooks has a chance to finish his career with 10,000 receiving yards and more than $100 million in career earnings.
Looking back at the 2022 draft class, no one came close to the NFL Combine records for the fastest 20-yard shuttle. Zyon McCollum – selected 157th overall – delivered an outstanding 3.94-second time and he was the only player with a sub-4 time.
Best 40-yard time
You can find everything you need to know about the fastest players with NFL Combine records below. It also includes details on the fastest plays in the NFL last season.