Combine: Oxford Saints VS The NFL

The NFL combine is a week-long showcase occurring every February in Indianapolis, where top college football players perform physical and mental tests in front of NFL coaches, general managers, and scouts.

A few weeks ago we ran our own Saints combine (to slightly less media attraction)  to gauge how our 2015 squad is doing and identify areas for improvements.

With the conclusion of the NFL combine, we take a look at how our top performers shape up with the elite standard of the incoming NFL Draft prospects.

Please note that we lack the fancy technology used in Indianapolis such as timing gates, professional equipment and multiple camera angles! We do however try to be as accurate as we can be.


Standing Broad Jump

Our top 3:

1. Troy Bryan WR – 9′ 5″

2. Connor Whitehouse DL – 9′ 4″

3. Mike Bearman FS/Tom Swift WR – 9′ 1″

NFL top 3:

1. Byron Jones DB – 12′ 3″

2. Chris Conley WR – 11′ 5″

3. Bud Dupress LB – 11′ 4″

Bottom: Josue Matias OL – 7′ 0″

2’ 8” of difference between our top performers is a pretty big gap! A good chunk of our players however fared better than the Offensive lineman Josue Matias.

The Defensive back Byron Jones from Connecticut impressed everyone with his seemingly impossible leap of 12’ 3”. This is almost 3 feet further than our best and a full 8 inches further than any other combine attempt in recent memory. He not only dominated the broad jump but blew away the competition in the vertical too.

It’s also widely believed (though not yet confirmed) that he has broken a 40 year old world record.



20 Yard Shuttle

Next we will take a look at the explosive acceleration and agility tested by the 20 yard shuttle drill.

Our top 3:

1. Troy Bryan WR – 4.47s

2. Ali Galbraith FS – 4.59s

3. Mike Bearman FS – 4.6s

NFL top 3:

1. Bobby McCain DB – 3.82s

2. Kevin Johnson DB – 3.89s

3. Byron Jones DB – 3.94s

Bottom: Daryl Williams OL – 5.15s

0.65 seconds between top performers. 0.65 seconds doesn’t sound like much, but in such a short intense drill there aren’t a lot of places to trim time from so in real terms it’s a pretty big gap.

Still, congratulations to Troy who claims his second top spot of the Saints Combine with a fantastic effort.

Bobby McCain set the fastest time in the NFL combine with the top three all being Defensive backs, showing how much they work on their ability to change direction and accelerate away with blistering pace.




60 Yard Shuttle

Now we move on to a classic, the 60 yard shuttle! This drill evaluates acceleration, agility and by the end you aren’t sure whether to breath or be sick.

Our top 3:

1. Oliver Cowley WR – 11.58s

2. Graham Henley LB – 12.00s

3. Troy Bryan WR – 12.1s

NFL top 3:

1. Byron Jones DB – 10.98s

2. Melvin Gordon RB – 11.00s

3. Ben Heeney LB – 11.06s

Bottom: Tony Washington LB 12.83s

0.6 seconds between top performers, not bad at all. Oliver Cowley took the honours in this drill by an impressive 0.42 seconds over a sterling effort from Graham Henley, giving the Linebackers something to shout about.

Stateside and in a league of his own, Byron Jones took yet another top spot in the combine but only by 0.02 seconds over Melvin Gordon who looks to be a fearsome prospect at Running back.


40 Yard Dash

Now for the main event, the 40 Yard Dash…we did’t have the luxury of timing gates and all the tech that’s used at the NFL Combine but here are our findings!

Our top 3:

1. Troy Bryan WR – 5.37s

2. Christian Crew – 5.53s

3. Oliver Cowley WR – 5.57s

NFL top 3

1. JJ Nelson WR – 4.28s

2. Trae Waynes DB – 4.31s

3. Phillip Dorset WR – 4.33s

Bottom: Adam Shead OL – 5.74

1.09 seconds between the top performers and our top performer, Troy Bryan, who only beat the bottom placed Offensive lineman Adam Shead by 0.37 seconds!

It demonstrates clearly how much power the elite athletes have especially when you consider that Adam Shead was moving 162lbs more weight than Troy, that’s almost the equivalent of Troy carrying another one of himself and only losing 0.37 seconds!




That’s enough numbers for now though so we will conclude by congratulating Troy Bryan on a dominant Saints Combine performance and hope that it continues through into a fantastic rookie season for him.

The Saints travel to Brighton for a pre-season game against Sussex Thunder on the 22nd March where we will see how the numbers collected at the combine translate into on-field performance, ultimately the only thing that really matters….

Written by Luke Fry