Julio Jones has emerged as Sunday’s NFL Combine star, turning in a ridiculous 4.39-second 40-yard dash time, a decent vertical jump, and a broad jump two inches shy of the all-time record — 11 feet, three inches. His toes repeatedly landed beyond the 12-foot space on which players are jumping, but he couldn’t stick his first two jumps.
After a moment to collect himself, he landed the best jump of the day.
A.J. Green turned in a 10-foot, six-inch jump, which is more than a half-foot longer than last year’s average. It’s an elite drill showing, but it’s going to be overshadowed by yet another absurd Jones performance.
How relevant is the broad jump to football? The vertical jump and 40-yard dash both make sense for deep-threat wide receivers, but when do football players need to jump in a straight line, land on their feet, and stand up without falling over? To scouts, a drill like this demonstrates both explosiveness and body control. Having the balance and leg strength to fly 11 feet through the air and control the landing demonstrates ludicrous athleticism.