Bronco Beat

McNichols, Vallejo set to represent Boise State at NFL Scouting Combine

For the 12th consecutive year, Boise State will have a former player at the NFL Scouting Combine, and this year there are two: Jeremy McNichols and Tanner Vallejo.

McNichols arrived Tuesday in Indianapolis, and will take part in on-field drills with the other running backs Friday. He will have shoulder surgery soon after. Vallejo is set to arrive Thursday, with on-field drills taking part Sunday for the linebackers. Players will have interviews with teams, have measurements taken, meet with the media, do medical and psychological testing and more. Click here for the full schedule.

The NFL Network will broadcast the drills live each day, starting at 7 a.m. MT Friday.

Players will do position drills, along with the usual battery of tests (40-yard dash, vertical jump, broad jump, three-cone drill, shuttle run). They do the bench press the day before the on-field work. Vallejo is unlikely to do the bench press as he recovers from wrist surgery.

Two players of note also expected to take part in the combine are Idaho kicker/punter Austin Rehkow and UTEP tight end Hayden Plinke, who played for Boise State in 2012. Click here for the full list of invites.


Boise State players at the combine since 2006:

2016: Rees Odhiambo, OL; Darian Thompson, S; Kamalei Correa, DL/LB

2015: Jay Ajayi, RB

2014: Matt Paradis, OL; Demarcus Lawrence, DE; Charles Leno Jr., OL

2013: Jamar Taylor, CB; D.J. Harper, RB

2012: Nate Potter, OL; Doug Martin, RB; Billy Winn, DL; George Iloka, S; Shea McClellin, DE/LB; Tyrone Crawford, DE; Kellen Moore, QB

2011: Titus Young, WR; Austin Pettis, WR; Brandyn Thompson, CB; Ryan Winterswyk, DE; Jeron Johnson, S

2010: Kyle Wilson, CB

2009: Ian Johnson, RB; Jeremy Childs, WR

2008: Orlando Scandrick, CB; Ryan Clady, OL (did not do on-field drills after injury during bench press)

2007: Gerald Alexander, DB; Drisan James, WR; Legedu Naanee, WR; Jerard Rabb, WR; Derek Schouman, TE; Jared Zabransky, QB

2006: Daryn Colledge, OL


Here’s the definition of each drill, from

40-yard dash

The 40-yard dash is the marquee event at the combine. It's kind of like the 100-meters at the Olympics: It's all about speed, explosion and watching skilled athletes run great times. These athletes are timed at 10, 20 and 40-yard intervals. What the scouts are looking for is an explosion from a static start.

Bench press

The bench press is a test of strength -- 225 pounds, as many reps as the athlete can get. What the NFL scouts are also looking for is endurance. Anybody can do a max one time, but what the bench press tells the pro scouts is how often the athlete frequented his college weight room for the last 3-5 years.

Vertical jump

The vertical jump is all about lower-body explosion and power. The athlete stands flat-footed and they measure his reach. It is important to accurately measure the reach, because the differential between the reach and the flag the athlete touches is his vertical jump measurement.

Broad jump

The broad jump is like being in gym class back in junior high school. Basically, it is testing an athlete's lower-body explosion and lower-body strength. The athlete starts out with a stance balanced and then he explodes out as far as he can. It tests explosion and balance, because he has to land without moving.

3 cone drill

The 3 cone drill tests an athlete's ability to change directions at a high speed. Three cones in an L-shape. He starts from the starting line, goes 5 yards to the first cone and back. Then, he turns, runs around the second cone, runs a weave around the third cone, which is the high point of the L, changes directions, comes back around that second cone and finishes.

Shuttle run

The short shuttle is the first of the cone drills. It is known as the 5-10-5. What it tests is the athlete's lateral quickness and explosion in short areas. The athlete starts in the three-point stance, explodes out 5 yards to his right, touches the line, goes back 10 yards to his left, left hand touches the line, pivot, and he turns 5 more yards and finishes.