INDIANAPOLIS — You know the drill(s): The 40-yard dash. The bench press. The vertical jump. They are part of a time-honored list of basic tests prospects must go through each year at the NFL combine.
But there is a set of players who are not required to partake in those annual traditions. You know them as kickers, punters and long snappers. The NFL saves a few spots for these specialists, but their performances are rarely ever seen or discussed by the general public.
So, what do they do, exactly?
SEC Country spoke with a trio of former SEC players to find out: Auburn kicker Daniel Carlson, Alabama punter JK Scott and Tennessee punter Trevor Daniel.
From what we gathered, these are the scripts for kickers and punters at the combine:
- 11 kickoffs (teams chart hang time and distance)
- 15 field goals
- 2 NFL extra points (33 yards)
- A scripted rotation in which kickers switch off field-goal attempts in “pressure” situations
- A short set of “fundamental” drills including kicking 6-yard field-goals over the crossbar to test kick height
- 6 punts down the middle of the field for distance (teams also chart hang time for all kicks)
- 3 directional punts to the right sideline
- 3 directional punts to the left sideline
- 3 “pooch” punts to place the ball as close to the goal line as possible
There are a variety of other things that make the experience unique, including using NFL-sized footballs (they’re “bigger,” Carlson said) and narrower hashmarks. All three players we spoke to seemed happy with their performances. Daniel and Scott, the punters, both said they participated in the traditional drills — the 40-yard dash, the jumps, etc. — as well.
“It’s just kinda fun to do it,” Daniel said. “It’s what you remember about the combine: The 40, and stuff like that. It was pretty cool.”
Scott said most of the specialists declined to do the extra work, but that those who participated were keeping a close eye on their competition.
“We were comparing,” Scott said. “Yeah, for sure.”
The post What the heck do kickers and punters do at NFL combine? 3 former SEC standouts reveal routines appeared first on SEC Country.
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