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NFL Scouting Combine 2016: Preview, how to watch and follow

The NFL focus is shifting over to Indianapolis this week for the annual Scouting Combine. Here's everything you'll need for the week-long event.

Joe Robbins/Getty Images

With the NFL offseason in full swing, this is the time of the year when even the most trivial events will generate interest and become must-watch events.

Nothing may be a better example of this than the NFL Scouting Combine. For nearly a week, coaches, scouts and executives from around the league will descend upon the annual combine in Indianapolis to sit and watch grown men work out in tight outfits while doing various football-related drills.

Though the combine may seem pointless, you cannot underestimate how important the event is and how it affects the NFL draft. With so many key decision makers attending the combine, it gives the prospects a chance to meet with many of the teams who will be considering drafting them.

We've seen examples of coaches and execs saying how they really grew to like certain prospects after meeting them at the combine, including Bengals center Russell Bodine. It was at the combine where the Bengals first met Bodine, grew to like him and eventually traded up to select him in the fourth round of the 2014 NFL Draft. It also helped that Bodine bench-pressed 225 pounds 42 times, which was best among his position.

This year, 332 prospects are expected to attend the 2016 Scouting Combine from February 23-29. One of the new regulations for this year's combine is all players must undergo a background check. If they refuse or an investigation reveals a domestic violence or sexual assault conviction, that player would be banned from attending all "league-related events," including the combine and draft.

It must be noted that just because a player was accused of these acts, doesn't mean he won't be invited. Had the rule been in place in 2015, No. 1 overall pick Jameis Winston would have still been allowed to participate in the combine because he was never convicted of sexual assault, despite facing allegations of such during his time at Florida State.

One player who would have been banned from the combine was former Michigan linebacker Frank Clark, who was a second-round pick by the Seattle Seahawks in 2015 after pleading guilty to a lesser charge after an arrest for a domestic violence incident.

2016 NFL Scouting Combine

When: Feb. 23-29

Where: Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis, Ind.

InviteesOfficial Invite List

TV: NFL Network

Live stream: Get the NFL Combine Live feed here

Live NFL Network broadcast schedule:

FRIDAY, FEB. 26

  • 9 a.m.-4 p.m.: Running backs, offensive line, and special teams workouts
  • 8 p.m.-11 p.m.: Combine Primetime wrap-up/analysis show

SATURDAY, FEB. 27

  • 9 a.m.-4 p.m.: Quarterbacks, wide receivers, and tight ends workouts
  • 8 p.m.-11 p.m.: Combine Primetime wrap-up/analysis show

SUNDAY, FEB. 28

  • 9 a.m.-4 p.m.: Defensive line and linebackers workouts
  • 8 p.m.-11 p.m.: Combine Primetime wrap-up/analysis show

MONDAY, FEB. 29

  • 9 a.m.-2 p.m.: Defensive backs workouts
  • 8 p.m.-9 p.m.: Combine Primetime wrap-up/analysis show

List of Events:

40-yard dash
The 40-yard dash is the marquee event at the combine. 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 tests 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.

Here is a schedule of the events:

Wednesday, Feb. 24

  • Media interviews for running backs, offensive linemen and special teamers

Thursday, Feb. 25

  • Media interviews for quarterbacks, wide receivers and tight ends

Friday, Feb. 26

  • Media interviews for defensive linemen and linebackers
  • On-field workouts for running backs, offensive linemen and special teamers

Saturday, Feb. 27

  • Media interviews for defensive backs
  • On-field workouts for quarterbacks, wide receivers and tight ends

Sunday, Feb. 28

  • On-field workouts for defensive linemen and linebackers

Monday, Feb. 29

  • On-field workouts for defensive backs

For more information and result, visit NFLCombine.net.