We are continuing our series or articles taking a closer look at the NFL Draft training ..."/> We are continuing our series or articles taking a closer look at the NFL Draft training ..."/>

Inside Look at the NFL Draft: Training Facilities


We are continuing our series or articles taking a closer look at the NFL Draft training facilities.  As usual, we were provided this inside look by the people at Ignition APG.  This week we are going to look at something that translates more to play on the field than the 40 yard dash.  Every year you hear scouts and experts talk about agility and whether or not a player looks fluid.  Agility is best measured by the L cone drills and 20 yard shuttle.  Clif Marshall of Ignition APG stated “The 40yd dash is more of the main attraction at the NFL Combine, but these shuttle drills are more specific to the game of football.”

Ignition APG Website

Ignition APG 2011 NFL Combine Brochure

Clif’s statement above is very true because the cameras come out for the 40 yard dash but players have seen their stock rise because of their performance in the agility drills.  One good example is Ignition’s Stanford Keglar who was projected to be an undrafted free agent until he blew people away with his shuttle time.  Keglar was able to work his way into the 4th round where he was selected by the Tennessee Titans, he put up a 3.98 shuttle time which is one of the best ever!  As they have done in the past, Ignition will ask Keglar to return this offseason to help bring along the new members.  Ignition takes these drills as seriously as the 40 yard dash and utilizes the same video analysis that helps athletes improve their technique.  The main way to improve is through teaching progressions from stance to start to mastering each turn.

There is a wide range of activities that help enhance your agility.  The main focus is improving your ability to accelerate and decelerate out of your breaks.  The ability to cleanly and quickly get out of your breaks is key for every position in the NFL.  It allows receivers to run clean crisp routes, cornerbacks to break on the football, and linebackers to close on a ball carrier.  Deep squats, yoga, and dynamic stretching are all a major part of the training to help athletes lower their center of gravity and maintain balance while changing direction.

As we continue this series of articles I want you to keep in mind that these athletes put in tons of work and effort and a lot of weight is riding on the results of a few workouts.  I always find it interesting the way teams search for a balance between production and workout numbers.  What would you put more emphasis on?