Behind closed doors at the NFL Scouting Combine in Indianapolis, the 49ers will meet with college prospects in a controlled, private setting.
Most everything else is controlled – but very public and very matter of fact.
There's no arguing against a stopwatch or a dumbbell.
With this in mind, 49ers.com collected some data from NFL.com; here are where current 49ers rank among their league peers in the combine's seven featured drills since 2006.
In italics below, NFL Media draft expert Mike Mayock describes each event.
The 40-yard dash is the marquee event at the combine. It's kind of like the 100-meters at the Olympics: It's all about speed, explosion and watching skilled athletes run great times. These athletes are timed at 10-, 20- and 40-yard intervals. What the scouts are looking for is an explosion from a static
The three-cone drill tests an athlete's ability to change directions at a high speed. Three cones in an L-shape. He starts from the starting line, goes five yards to the first cone and back. Then he turns, runs around the second cone, runs a weave around the third cone, which is the high point of the 'L,' changes directions, comes back around that second cone and finishes.
The vertical jump is all about lower-body explosion and power. The athlete stands flat-footed and they measure his reach. It is important to accurately measure the reach, because the differential between the reach and the flag the athlete touches is his vertical jump measurement.
Vernon Davis – third among tight ends – 42 inches – 2006
The broad jump is like being in gym class back in junior high school. Basically, it is testing an athlete's lower-body explosion and lower-body strength. The athlete starts out with a stance balanced and then he explodes out as far as he can. It tests explosion and balance, because he has to land without moving.
Eric Reid – first among safeties – 11 feet, 2 inches – 2013
Jon Baldwin – 11th among wide receivers – 10 feet, 9 inches – 2011
Vernon Davis – fifth among tight ends – 10 feet, 8 inches – 2006
*Whitner switched to safety in the NFL
The short shuttle is the first of the cone drills. It is known as the 5-10-5. What it tests is the athlete's lateral quickness and explosion in short areas. The athlete starts in the three-point stance, explodse out 5 yards to his right, touches the line, goes back 10 yards to his left, left hand touches the line, pivot, and he turns 5 more yards and finishes.
Vernon Davis – 11th among tight ends – 4.17 seconds – 2006
Craig Dahl – second among safeties – 11.03 seconds – 2007
C.J. Spillman – 10th among safeties – 11.27 seconds – 2009
The bench press is a test of strength – 225 pounds, as many reps as the athlete can get. What the NFL scouts are also looking for is endurance. Anybody can do a max one time, but what the bench press tells the pro scouts is how often the athlete frequented his college weight room for the last three to five years.
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