NFL prospects, agents, and team personnel will descend upon Indianapolis for the NFL combine from February 28th through March 6th.
During this time, prospects will be put through a series of drills such as the 40 yard dash, the bench press, and the short shuttle. While players will often opt to do several drills, statistical analyses provide support some drills are more especially predictive of NFL success for specific positions.
Within this next series of articles, I will try to identify the key predictors of NFL success by position. This article will focus on the utility of the short shuttle scores for offensive lineman.
As detailed by HoustonTexans.com, the short shuttle is a 20-yard sequence wherein “the player starts in a three-point stance and then runs five yards to his right, touches the ground, reverses and runs back 10 yards, touches the ground, before heading back five yards to the finish line.” The drill is thought to largely measure lateral quickness.
Notably, this drill is particularly useful for identifying offensive lineman.
Going to pub my combine metrics that matter for offensive positions tomorrow on @Unexpected_Pts. Shuttle for iOL is one of the few measures with more signal for NFL value than draft position pic.twitter.com/fp81mT5SbS— Kevin Cole (@KevinCole___) February 28, 2023
As detailed in this plot, the shuttle is the combine drill that is most predictive of actual NFL success (red bars) for NFL offensive lineman. Importantly, while this datapoint is most predictive of success, it appears to be less desirable on draft day (blue bars) than other combine measures such as the 40 yard dash and arm length.
In further support of the value of the short shuttle for NFL offensive lineman, it has signaled that some players who went on overachieve relative to their draft positions may have been warranted greater attention on draft day.
Since 2010, just 28 Offensive Linemen recorded a 4.47 short shuttle or better at the NFL Combine— Josh Norris (@JoshNorris) February 27, 2023
24 were drafted
Those 24 went on to start 84% of their NFL games. It's a cheat code.
Let's 'Moneyball' the NFL Combinehttps://t.co/18vOIzmWlV pic.twitter.com/BPmFhPzjhe
Importantly, the New York Jets have been rumored as being interested in drafting an offensive lineman. For fans of the New York Jets, this data suggests that selecting offensive lineman who excel on the short shuttle may be worthwhile selections.