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Here’s how NFL.com’s Lance Zierlein described Kansas inside linebacker Ben Heeney:

Undersized inside linebacker with a big motor and willingness to take chances. Lacks the athleticism to recover from mistakes in the running game and is too tight to cover in space against the pass.

But at the combine, Heeney didn’t appear out of his athletic class. He ranked a respectable 49th in the 40 yard dash and 58th in the broad jump, while performing at perfectly average levesl in the vertical jump and bench press.

But it’s the 3-cone drill where Heeney starred.   Based on my research from last year, the best-fit formula to project a prospect’s performance in the 3-cone drill is:

Expected 3-Cone = 6.98 – 0.023 * Height + 0.0081 * Weight

For every 12.3 pounds of weight, a player’s expected 3-cone time increases by 0.1 seconds.  Height, meanwhile, is positively correlated: taller players tend to perform better in this drill, which is probably due to stride length/having to take fewer steps.   Heeney, as Zierlein noted, is a bit undersized at inside linebacker: he weighed in at 231 pounds and stood at six feet even (though that combination has worked out well for other inside linebackers).

Given that height/weight combination, we would expect Heeney to complete the 3-cone drill in 7.20 seconds. But Heeney finished it just 6.68 seconds, 0.52 seconds better than expected. According to NFLSavant.com, Heeney is just the 9th inside linebacker in combine history to break 7 seconds in the 3-cone drill; Prior to Heeney, the top two times came in 2012, when undrafted Chris Galippo ran it in 6.90, and Luke Kuechley did it in 6.92.

The table below shows the results of all 207 participants in the 3-cone drill at the combine.  Thanks to NFLSavant.com for the data.

RkFirst LastPCollegeHeightWeightExp3ConeDiff
1Ben HeeneyILBKansas722317.26.680.52
2Derrick LottDTTennessee-Chattanooga763147.787.30.48
3Jordan HicksOLBTexas732367.216.780.43
4Jake FisherOTOregon783067.667.250.41
5Xavier CooperDTWashington St.752937.637.230.4
6Jarvis HarrisonOGTexas A&M763307.917.510.4
7Grady JarrettNTClemson733047.767.370.39
8Ali MarpetCHobart & William Smith763077.727.330.39
9Frank ClarkDEMichigan752717.457.080.37
10Henry AndersonDEStanford782947.577.20.37
11Vic BeasleyOLBClemson752467.256.910.34
12Preston SmithDEMississippi St.772717.47.070.33
13Jordan RichardsSSStanford712117.066.740.32
14Angelo BlacksonDTAuburn763187.817.50.31
15Tyeler DavisonDTFresno St.743167.847.530.31
16Alani FuaOLBBYU772387.146.830.31
17Malcolm BrownRBTexas712247.166.860.3
18Amari CooperWRAlabama732117.016.710.3
19David JohnsonRBNorthern Iowa732247.126.820.3
20Justin HardyWREast Carolina701926.936.630.3
21Cameron ErvingCFlorida St.773137.747.480.26
22Ameer AbdullahRBNebraska692057.056.790.26
23Eric RoweFSUtah732056.966.70.26
24Mike HullOLBPenn St.722377.246.990.25
25Louis Trinca-PasatDTIowa732907.657.40.25
26Anthony ChickilloDEMiami752677.427.170.25
27Dorial Green-BeckhamWRMissouri772377.136.890.24
28Kenny BellWRNebraska731976.96.660.24
29Justin ColemanCBTennessee711856.856.610.24
30Mario AlfordWRWest Virginia681806.876.640.23
31Kyle EmanuelOLBNorth Dakota St.752557.327.10.22
32Bryce PettyQBBaylor752307.126.910.21
33Hayes PullardILBUSC722407.277.070.2
34Eli HaroldOLBVirginia752477.267.070.19
35Zack WagenmannDEMontana752477.267.070.19
36Shaq ThompsonOLBWashington722287.176.990.18
37Trey WilliamsRBTexas A&M671957.026.840.18
38Jalen CollinsCBLSU732036.956.770.18
39Bobby McCainCBMemphis691956.976.80.17
40Phillip DorsettWRMiami701856.876.70.17
41Geremy DavisWRConnecticut742167.036.860.17
42Ty SambrailoOTColorado St.783117.717.540.17
43Vince MayleWRWashington St.742247.096.930.16
44Ryan RussellDEPurdue762697.417.250.16
45Marcus MariotaQBOregon762227.036.870.16
46Mark GlowinskiOGWest Virginia763077.727.560.16
47Cody FajardoQBNevada732237.116.950.16
48Brett HundleyQBUCLA752267.096.930.16
49Javorius AllenRBUSC722217.116.960.15
50Stephone AnthonyILBClemson752437.227.070.15
51Mike DavisRBSouth Carolina692177.1570.15
52Craig MagerCBTexas St.712016.986.830.15
53Ty MontgomeryWRStanford722217.116.970.14
54Geneo GrissomDEOklahoma752627.387.240.14
55Byron JonesCBConnecticut731996.916.780.13
56Jake RyanOLBMichigan742407.227.110.11
57Michael BurtonFBRutgers712427.317.20.11
58Damarious RandallFSArizona State711966.936.830.1
59Damien WilsonILBMinnesota722457.317.210.1
60Andy GallikCBoston College743067.767.660.1
61Rakeem Nunez-RochesDTSouthern Miss743077.767.670.09
62Trey FlowersDEArkansas742667.437.340.09
63Martin IfediDEMemphis752757.487.390.09
64Steven NelsonCBOregon St.701976.976.880.09
65Joey IosefaRBHawaii722477.327.240.08
66Mitch MorseOGMissouri773057.687.60.08
67Kevin WhiteWRWest Virginia7521576.920.08
68Mario Edwards Jr.DTFlorida St.752797.517.440.07
69Zach ZennerRBSouth Dakota St.712237.157.080.07
70Garry PetersCBClemson721916.876.80.07
71Rannell HallWRCentral Florida721986.936.860.07
72Leonard WilliamsDEUSC773027.667.590.07
73Tre McBrideWRWilliam & Mary722107.036.960.07
74Owamagbe OdighizuwaDEUCLA752677.427.360.06
75Kevin JohnsonCBWake Forest721886.856.790.06
76Bryce HagerILBBaylor732347.27.150.05
77B.J. CatalonRBTCU671866.956.90.05
78Darren WallerWRGeorgia Tech782387.117.070.04
79Kyshoen JarrettSSVirginia Tech702006.996.950.04
80Sammie CoatesWRAuburn732127.026.980.04
81Troy HillCBOregon701826.846.810.03
82Danny SheltonNTWashington743398.027.990.03
83Tony WashingtonOLBOregon762477.237.20.03
84T.J. ClemmingsOTPittsburgh773097.717.680.03
85Za'Darius SmithDEKentucky762747.457.420.03
86Malcom BrownDTTexas743197.867.840.02
87Lynden TrailDENorfolk St.792697.347.320.02
88Gus JohnsonRBStephen F. Austin702157.117.090.02
89Nick MarshallQBAuburn732076.986.960.02
90Benardrick McKinneyILBMississippi St.762467.227.210.01
91Jay AjayiRBBoise St.722217.117.10.01
92Senquez GolsonCBMississippi691766.826.810.01
93Karlos WilliamsRBFlorida St.732307.167.160
94La'el CollinsOTLSU763057.77.70
95Melvin GordonRBWisconsin732157.047.040
96Nate OrchardDEUtah752507.287.280
97Adrian AmosFSPenn St.722187.097.090
98Kwon AlexanderOLBLSU732277.147.140
99Julian WilsonCBOklahoma742056.946.940
100Keith MumpheryWRMichigan St.722157.077.070
101Jordan PhillipsNTOklahoma773297.877.88-0.01
102Jermaine WhiteheadFSAuburn711976.946.95-0.01
103Taiwan JonesILBMichigan St.752457.247.25-0.01
104Kenny HilliardRBLSU722267.157.17-0.02
105J.T. SurrattDTSouth Carolina733047.767.78-0.02
106Kaelin ClayWRUtah701956.956.97-0.02
107Bobby RichardsonDTIndiana752837.557.57-0.02
108Donovan SmithOGPenn St.783387.927.95-0.03
109Ronald DarbyCBFlorida St.711936.916.94-0.03
110Dante Fowler Jr.OLBFlorida752617.377.4-0.03
111Arik ArmsteadDTOregon792927.537.57-0.04
112Cameron Artis-PayneRBAuburn702127.097.13-0.04
113Gabe WrightDTAuburn753007.697.73-0.04
114Tyler LockettWRKansas St.701826.846.89-0.05
115Dean MarloweFSJames Madison732036.957-0.05
116Da'Ron BrownWRNorthern Illinois722056.987.04-0.06
117Chris ConleyWRGeorgia7421377.06-0.06
118Jameis WinstonQBFlorida St.762317.17.16-0.06
119Josh ShawCBUSC722016.957.01-0.06
120T.J. YeldonRBAlabama732267.137.19-0.06
121Rashad GreeneWRFlorida St.711826.826.88-0.06
122Jerry LovelockeQBPrairie View A&M762487.247.3-0.06
123DeAndrew WhiteWRAlabama711936.916.97-0.06
124Laurence GibsonOTVirginia Tech783057.667.72-0.06
125Christion JonesWRAlabama701826.846.91-0.07
126Tye SmithCBTowson721956.96.97-0.07
127John CrockettRBNorth Dakota St.722177.087.15-0.07
128James SampleSSLouisville742096.977.04-0.07
129Amarlo HerreraILBGeorgia732447.287.35-0.07
130D'Joun SmithCBFlorida Atlantic701876.886.96-0.08
131Obum GwachamDEOregon St.772467.27.28-0.08
132Tevin McDonaldFSEastern Washington711956.937.01-0.08
133Tony LippettWRMichigan St.741926.836.92-0.09
134Deon SimonNTNorthwestern St. (LA)763217.837.92-0.09
135Brandon BridgeQBSouth Alabama762297.097.18-0.09
136Deon LongWRMaryland721926.886.98-0.1
137Ross ScheuermanRBLafayette722046.987.08-0.1
138Kurtis DrummondFSMichigan St.732086.997.09-0.1
139Carl DavisDTIowa773207.87.91-0.11
140Leterrius WaltonDTCentral Michigan773197.797.91-0.12
141Andrew DonnalOTIowa783137.727.84-0.12
142Shane CardenQBEast Carolina742187.047.17-0.13
143Stefon DiggsWRMaryland721956.97.03-0.13
144Alex CarterCBStanford721966.917.05-0.14
145Corey CrawfordDEClemson772837.57.64-0.14
146Lorenzo MauldinOLBLouisville762597.337.47-0.14
147Bryan BennettQBSoutheastern Louisiana742116.997.13-0.14
148Dezmin LewisWRCentral Arkansas762146.977.11-0.14
149Dee HartRBColorado St.671997.057.2-0.15
150Durell EskridgeFSSyracuse752086.947.09-0.15
151Jalston FowlerFBAlabama712547.47.56-0.16
152Cody PrewittFSMississippi742086.967.12-0.16
153Marcus PetersCBWashington721976.927.08-0.16
154Clayton GeathersSSCentral Florida742187.047.21-0.17
155Jeremiah PoutasiOGUtah773357.928.09-0.17
156Quinten RollinsCBMiami (OH)711956.937.1-0.17
157D.J. HumphriesOTFlorida773077.77.87-0.17
158P.J. WilliamsCBFlorida St.721946.97.08-0.18
159Jacoby GlennCBCentral Florida721796.776.97-0.2
160Xzavier DicksonOLBAlabama752607.367.56-0.2
161Justin CoxFSMississippi St.731916.857.05-0.2
162Terry PooleOGSan Diego St.773077.77.9-0.2
163Landon CollinsSSAlabama722287.177.38-0.21
164Jeremy LangfordRBMichigan St.722087.017.22-0.21
165Devante DavisWRUNLV752207.047.25-0.21
166Ellis McCarthyDTUCLA773387.958.16-0.21
167Al BondOGMemphis763037.697.9-0.21
168Darrian MillerOGKentucky773077.77.91-0.21
169Trenton BrownOGFlorida803558.028.23-0.21
170Braylon HeardRBKentucky701986.977.19-0.22
171Chris HackettFSTCU721956.97.12-0.22
172Trae WaynesCBMichigan St.721866.837.06-0.23
173Aaron DavisOLBColorado St.722257.157.38-0.23
174Quandre DiggsCBTexas691966.987.22-0.24
175Charles GainesCBLouisville701806.837.07-0.24
176Ladarius GunterCBMiami732026.947.18-0.24
177Chaz GreenOTFlorida773147.758-0.25
178Sean MannionQBOregon St.782297.047.29-0.25
179Robert MyersOGTennessee St.773267.858.1-0.25
180Edmond RobinsonOLBNewberry752457.247.49-0.25
181Titus DavisWRCentral Michigan731966.897.14-0.25
182Jamison CrowderWRDuke681856.917.17-0.26
183Austin ShepherdOTAlabama763157.788.04-0.26
184Ezell RuffinWRSan Diego St.722187.097.35-0.26
185Anthony BooneQBDuke722317.27.47-0.27
186Anthony JeffersonCBUCLA731986.97.18-0.28
187Darius PhilonDTArkansas732987.718-0.29
188Jamil DouglasOGArizona State763047.697.99-0.3
189Laken TomlinsonOGDuke753237.878.17-0.3
190Josh HarperWRFresno St.731916.857.15-0.3
191Brett BoykoOTUNLV793017.67.91-0.31
192Andrus PeatOTStanford793137.78.01-0.31
193Takoby CofieldOTDuke763107.748.09-0.35
194Max VallesOLBVirginia772517.247.59-0.35
195Lorenzo DossCBTulane701826.847.2-0.36
196Terrence MageeRBLSU682137.147.52-0.38
197J.J. NelsonWRUAB701566.637.02-0.39
198Joey MbuDTHouston753137.798.2-0.41
199Martrell SpaightOLBArkansas722367.247.66-0.42
200Leon OrrDTFlorida773237.838.26-0.43
201Jahwan EdwardsRBBall St.692207.187.63-0.45
202John MillerOGLouisville743037.738.2-0.47
203Rob CrispOTN.C. State793017.68.07-0.47
204Donatella LuckettWRHarding722117.037.51-0.48
205Josue MatiasOGFlorida St.773097.718.19-0.48
206Reese DismukesCAuburn752967.658.14-0.49
207Rob HavensteinOTWisconsin793217.768.28-0.52
  • With Dupree sitting out, perhaps this means Vic Beasley is your true combine champ? Beasley ranked 1st in the bench press, 5th in the vertical jump, 6th in the 40, 6th in the broad jump, and 11th here. Dupree took 1st in the 40 and both jumps, but sat out the bench press and the 3-cone drill.
  • Otherwise, some players who shined in other drills did not stand out in the 3-cone. Georgia’s Chris Conley dominated the 40 and the jumps, but was actually below-average here. Byron Jones set a combine record in the vertical jump, but ranked just 55th here.
  • Arif Hasan

    Regression within position:

    WR: Kenny Bell (+0.26)
    RB: David Johnson (+0.24)
    Edge: Vic Beasley (+0.25)
    Interior DL: Derrick Lott (+0.22)
    Off-ball LB: Ben Heeney (+0.47)
    DB: Justin Coleman (+0.30)
    OL: Jarvis Harrison (+0.46)

    Again, weight is a bigger factor for OL than for the “all positions” set, as 330 pound Jarvis Harrisons’ 7.51 beat Jake Fishers’ 7.25 at 306 pounds (by 0.04 seconds).