The 40-yard dash gets all the attention, but some NFL personnel evaluators think the three-cone drill, which measures a player’s quickness in changing direction, is a better measurement of athleticism relevant to football. And in that drill, no player was better than Oklahoma defensive back Jordan Thomas.
Thomas finished the three-cone drill in 6.28 seconds, the best time on record at the Scouting Combine. And Thomas didn’t just squeak past the old record, he blew it away by more than a tenth of a second: Jeffrey Maehl of Oregon, who finished in 6.42 seconds in 2011, was the previous record holder.
Maehl and many others who have had impressive times in the three-cone drill have failed to have great NFL careers, so this time is no guarantee that Thomas will play well in the NFL. But it is an achievement worth noting, and one that hasn’t previously been seen at the Combine.
Although Thomas didn’t have a great Combine in every respect — his 40 time of 4.64 seconds was disappointing, and he managed a weak four reps in the 225-pound bench press — he has impressive quickness.