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Thomas was a combine superstar

As you can imagine, heavier players fare much worse in the 3-cone drill, and taller players have a slight advantage, too. Here was the best-fit formula from the 2017 combine:

7.3397 -0.0317 * Height (Inches) + 0.0091 * Weight (Pounds)

Stanford running back Christian McCaffrey is one of the more interesting prospects from this draft, and he dominated in the 3-cone drill, finishing in 6.57 seconds, just one hundredth of a second behind the leader. Given his dimensions — 71 inches, 202 pounds — he’d be expected to complete the drill in 6.93. McCaffrey therefore finished the drill in 0.36 seconds more than expected, the 7th-best adjusted performance in this drill.

The top performance belonged to a different Stanford player, defensive end Solomon Thomas, who finished a full 0.50 seconds above expectation. The full results, below:

RkNameCollegePosHtWt3CDrillExp 3CDDiff
1Solomon ThomasStanfordDE752736.957.450.50
2Dion DawkinsTempleOG763147.307.790.49
3Tyus BowserHoustonLB752476.757.220.47
4T.J. WattWisconsinLB762526.797.230.44
5Taywan TaylorWestern KentuckyWR712036.576.940.37
6Derek BarnettTennesseeDE752596.967.320.36
7Christian McCaffreyStanfordRB712026.576.930.36
8Michael RobertsToledoTE762707.057.390.34
9Blair BrownOhioLB712386.927.260.34
10Trey HendricksonFlorida AtlanticDE762667.037.360.33
11Garett BollesUtahOT772977.297.610.32
12Adam ShaheenAshlandTE782787.097.400.31
13O.J. HowardAlabamaTE782516.857.160.31
14Daeshon HallTexas A&MDE772667.037.320.29
15Vince BiegelWisconsinOLB752466.927.210.29
16Desmond KingIowaS702016.676.950.28
17Brian AllenUtahDB752156.646.920.28
18Duke RileyLSUOLB722326.897.170.28
19Harvey LangiBYUDE742517.007.280.28
20Alex AnzaloneFloridaLB752416.887.160.28
21Derek RiversYoungstown St.DE762486.947.190.25
22Krishawn HoganMarian (IN)WR752226.746.990.25
23Ben GedeonMichiganILB742446.987.220.24
24John JohnsonBoston CollegeS722086.726.950.23
25Aaron JonesTexas-El PasoRB692086.827.050.23
26Elijah QuallsWashingtonDT733137.657.880.23
27Kevin KingWashingtonCB752006.566.790.23
28Taco CharltonMichiganDE782777.177.390.22
29Stevie Tu'ikolovatuUSCDT733317.838.040.21
30Ben BoulwareClemsonILB722387.027.230.21
31David NjokuMiamiTE762466.977.170.20
32D.J. JonesMississippiDT733197.737.930.20
33Dylan DonahueWest GeorgiaDL752487.027.220.20
34Jaleel JohnsonIowaDT753167.647.840.20
35Jalen RobinetteAir ForceWR752206.776.970.20
36Forrest LampWestern KentuckyOG763097.557.750.20
37Tanzel SmartTulaneDT732967.537.720.19
38Larry OgunjobiNorth Carolina CharlotteDT753057.557.740.19
39Dan FeeneyIndianaOG763057.527.710.19
40Dawuane SmootIllinoisDE752647.187.370.19
41Jerome LaneAkronWR742266.877.060.19
42Joshua DobbsTennesseeQB752166.756.930.18
43Fadol BrownMississippiDE762737.247.420.18
44Corey LevinTennessee-ChattanoogaOL763077.557.730.18
45Haason ReddickTempleDE732377.017.190.18
46Evan EngramMississippiTE752346.927.100.18
47Chase RoullierWyomingC763127.607.780.18
48Jeremy McNicholsBoise St.RB692146.937.100.17
49Patrick MahomesTexas TechQB742256.887.050.17
50Connor HarrisLindenwoodILB712427.137.300.17
51Ryan GlasgowMichiganDT753027.557.720.17
52Julie'n DavenportBucknellOT793187.577.740.17
53Gareon ConleyOhio St.CB721956.686.840.16
54Vincent TaylorOklahoma St.DT753047.587.730.15
55Gerald EverettSouth AlabamaTE752396.997.140.15
56Kendrick BourneEastern WashingtonWR732036.736.880.15
57Robert DavisGeorgia StateWR752196.826.960.14
58Budda BakerWashingtonS701956.766.900.14
59Garrett SickelsPenn St.DE752617.217.340.13
60Jordan LeggettClemsonTE772587.127.250.13
61Nico SiragusaSan Diego St.OG763197.717.840.13
62Darrell DanielsWashingtonTE752477.097.220.13
63David SharpeFloridaOT783437.877.990.12
64Jehu ChessonMichiganWR752046.706.820.12
65Avery MossYoungstown St.DE752647.257.370.12
66Tarell BashamOhioDE762697.277.380.11
67Carroll PhillipsIllinoisDE752427.067.170.11
68Dalvin TomlinsonAlabamaDT753107.687.790.11
69Cooper KuppEastern WashingtonWR742046.756.860.11
70Chuck ClarkVirginia TechDB722086.856.950.10
71Marlon HumphreyAlabamaCB721976.756.850.10
72Caleb BrantleyFloridaDT753077.667.760.10
73Chad HansenCaliforniaWR742026.746.840.10
74Trent TaylorLouisiana TechWR681816.746.840.10
75Chidobe AwuzieColoradoCB722026.816.900.09
76Conor McDermottUCLAOT803077.527.600.08
77Montravius AdamsAuburnDT763047.627.700.08
78Jonathan AllenAlabamaDE752867.497.570.08
79Taylor MotonWestern MichiganOG773197.737.810.08
80Isaac AsiataUtahOG753237.837.910.08
81Davis WebbCaliforniaQB772296.926.990.07
82Zach CunninghamVanderbiltLB752347.037.100.07
83Ryan SwitzerNorth CarolinaWR681816.776.840.07
84Mitch LeidnerMinnesotaQB752266.967.020.06
85Shalom LuaniWashington St.S712026.876.930.06
86Deshaun WatsonClemsonQB742216.957.010.06
87Ifeadi OdenigboNorthwesternDL752587.267.320.06
88Eddie VanderdoesUCLADT753057.697.740.05
89Jamal AdamsLSUS722146.967.010.05
90Michael RectorStanfordWR721936.776.820.05
91Dare OgunbowaleWisconsinRB712136.997.030.04
92Zay JonesEast CarolinaWR742016.796.830.04
93Jadar JohnsonClemsonS722066.906.940.04
94Delano HillMichiganSS732166.967.000.04
95Raekwon McMillanOhio St.LB742407.157.180.03
96Quincy AdeboyejoMississippiWR751976.736.760.03
97Al-Quadin MuhammadMiamiDE752537.257.270.02
98Ben BradenMichiganOG783297.857.870.02
99Tanoh KpassagnonVillanovaDE792897.467.470.01
100Shelton GibsonWest VirginiaWR711916.836.830.00
101Fabian MoreauUCLACB722066.946.940.00
102Bug HowardNorth CarolinaWR762216.956.950.00
103Cameron SuttonTennesseeCB711886.816.80-0.01
104Brian HillWyomingRB732197.037.02-0.01
105Cam RobinsonAlabamaOT783227.817.80-0.01
106Tashawn BowerLSUDE772507.207.18-0.02
107Fred RossMississippi St.WR732136.996.97-0.02
108Victor BoldenOregon St.WR681786.836.81-0.02
109Amba Etta-TawoSyracuseWR732086.956.92-0.03
110Josh CarrawayTCUDE752427.207.17-0.03
111Jeremiah LedbetterArkansasDE752807.557.52-0.03
112Sam RogersVirginia TechFB702317.277.23-0.04
113Kevin DavisColorado St.LB742357.187.14-0.04
114Shaquill GriffinCentral FloridaDB721946.876.83-0.04
115Samaje PerineOklahomaRB712337.267.21-0.05
116Noah BrownOhio St.WR742227.077.02-0.05
117Dan SkipperArkansasOT823097.617.56-0.05
118Drew MorganArkansasWR721906.856.79-0.06
119Charles WalkerOklahomaDT743107.897.82-0.07
120Rasul DouglasWest VirginiaCB742096.976.90-0.07
121Ken EkanemVirginia TechDL752577.387.31-0.07
122Kenny GolladayNorthern IllinoisWR762187.006.92-0.08
123Nathan PetermanPittsburghQB742267.147.06-0.08
124Carl LawsonAuburnDE742617.467.37-0.09
125Ethan CooperIndiana (PA)OG743228.027.93-0.09
126Josh ReynoldsTexas A&MWR751946.836.73-0.10
127Sam TeviUtahOT773117.847.73-0.11
128Kyle FullerBaylorCB721906.906.79-0.11
129Jalen MyrickMinnesotaCB702007.066.95-0.11
130Zach PascalOld DominionWR742197.116.99-0.12
131Devine ReddingIndianaRB682057.187.05-0.13
132Malik McDowellMichigan St.DT782957.697.56-0.13
133Isaiah FordVirginia TechWR731946.946.80-0.14
134Travis RudolphFlorida St.WR721896.936.78-0.15
135Wayne GallmanClemsonRB722157.177.02-0.15
136Cordrea TankersleyClemsonCB731997.006.84-0.16
137Scott OrndoffPittsburghTE772537.377.21-0.16
138Brendan LangleyLamarCB722017.066.89-0.17
139Damarius TravisMinnesotaS732067.086.91-0.17
140De'Veon SmithMichiganRB712237.307.12-0.18
141Elijah McGuireLouisiana-LafayetteRB702147.267.07-0.19
142Cooper RushCentral MichiganQB752287.237.04-0.19
143Josh MaloneTennesseeWR752087.056.86-0.19
144Tedric ThompsonColoradoFS722047.116.92-0.19
145Ethan PocicLSUC783107.897.69-0.20
146Gabe MarksWashington St.WR711897.016.81-0.20
147Nate TheakerWayne St. (MI)OG773157.977.77-0.20
148Channing StriblingMichiganCB731886.946.74-0.20
149Charles HarrisMissouriDE752537.477.27-0.20
150Takkarist McKinleyUCLADE742507.487.27-0.21
151Hayden PlinkeTexas-El PasoTE762647.557.34-0.21
152Curtis SamuelOhio St.WR711967.096.88-0.21
153Pat ElfleinOhio St.C753037.947.73-0.21
154Avery GennesyTexas A&MOT753188.087.86-0.22
155Darreus RogersUSCWR732167.227.00-0.22
156Rodney AdamsSouth FloridaWR731896.986.75-0.23
157Dalvin CookFlorida St.RB702107.277.04-0.23
158Sefo LiufauColoradoQB752327.327.08-0.24
159James QuickLouisvilleWR721867.006.75-0.25
160Devonte' FieldsLouisvilleOLB742367.407.15-0.25
161Nazair JonesNorth CarolinaDT773047.937.67-0.26
162Sidney JonesWashingtonCB721867.026.75-0.27
163Justin SeniorMississippi St.OT773318.197.92-0.27
164Carlos HendersonLouisiana TechWR711997.186.90-0.28
165Cameron LeeIllinois St.OG773128.027.74-0.28
166Zach BannerUSCOT803538.318.02-0.29
167Artavis ScottClemsonWR701937.196.88-0.31
168Keevan LucasTulsaWR691927.236.90-0.33
169DeShone KizerNotre DameQB762337.407.06-0.34
170Ricky Seals-JonesTexas A&MWR772437.467.12-0.34
171Jordan MorganKutztown (PA)OG753098.137.78-0.35
172Antonio GarciaTroyOT783027.987.62-0.36
173Danny IsidoraMiamiOG753068.137.75-0.38
174Adam BisnowatyPittsburghOT783048.027.64-0.38
175Jon TothKentuckyC773078.097.70-0.39
176Malachi DupreLSUWR741967.196.78-0.41
177Travin DuralLSUWR732027.296.87-0.42
178Erik AustellCharleston SouthernOT753018.137.71-0.42
179Freddie StevensonFlorida St.FB722347.657.19-0.46
180Sean HarlowOregon St.OG763038.167.69-0.47
181Damien MamaUSCOG753348.518.01-0.50
182Daniel BrunskillSan Diego St.OT772737.907.39-0.51
183Jerry UgokweWilliam & MaryOT793218.357.76-0.59
184Lorenzo JeromeSt. Francis (PA)S702047.636.98-0.65
185Dorian JohnsonPittsburghOG773008.397.63-0.76

Thomas was an elite run defender last year, and will be a first round pick in this year’s draft. In addition to ranking 1st in this drill, he ranked 8th in the 40, had a 7th-place ranking in the bench press, 14th in vertical drill, and 8th in the broad jump. That’s a helluva combine. As for Myles Garrett? He sat this drill out.

  • I was curious as to why height was shown in this regression to be a good thing, as I think most people view being shorter as better for the 3-cone drill.

    So I ran a regression using just weight and 3CD time, and then calculated the difference between actual 3CD time and expected (based on weight) time. On the X-Axis is that difference; on the Y-Axis is height. Of course, the trend line will be positive, because that’s what the first regression showed — that height was good for having a shorter time. But it’s still interesting to see:

    https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/698dde3b20ccfd6e843420bcdc78bf951950eb48872a2a9f50fbb914ff4699d6.png

    In particular, players at 70 inches did poorly in the 2017 3CD, while players at 76 inches did really well. Not sure if this is a one-year blip or not.