On Friday, the Falcons assessed South Carolina defensive end Jadeveon Clowney via a tool known as a “force plate.”
The plate, pictured with Clowney on it and Falcons director player of personnel Lionel Vital in the background, makes various measurements based merely on a player jumping and moving on it. The test occurred in a weight room, not on a practice field. It doesn’t amount to a “drill” of any kind, but it provides important information about a player’s athletic abilities.
The Falcons have partnered with Sparta Sports Science to develop a full-blown athletic performance program based on the “force plate” technology.
“We feel that partnering with Dr. Phil Wagner and Sparta Software, Corporation will enhance our athletic performance program and benefit our football team,” Falcons G.M. Thomas Dimitroff said in a statement released to PFT. “We are always looking for ways to take our training program to the next level and Sparta will help us develop detailed individual workout programs. We understand the importance of having our players reach their full potential and remain in top physical condition during a long and arduous season, and this partnership will assist us in becoming a highly effective sports performance model.”
For draft purposes, the force plate assessment will help the Falcons identify players whose body composition and dynamics suggest that they will be able to play NFL football at a high level for an extended prior of time.
The results of Clowney’s force plate assessment aren’t known, and surely won’t be shared. But if the Falcons make a move to trade up for Clowney, it will be safe to assume they liked what they saw.
That’s all anyone is going to see of Clowney until he’s on a team. The force plate assessment was the limited activity to which agent Bus Cook recently referred when talking about the things Clowney will and won’t do before the draft.