Featured in this article:
  • Best vertical jump in NFL Combine history is 45 inches by Keon Johnson at the University of Tennessee
  • Odds that a player jumps higher than 45 inches during the combine is +225 with no at -350
  • Over/under for the highest jump is set at 43.5 inches, with over at -140 and under even money

3 Minute Read

The NFL football scouting combine in Indianapolis, Thursday, March 3, 2022. (AP Photo/Charlie Neibergall)

The NFL Scouting Combine continues from Indianapolis.

A player’s vertical jump is hugely important for scouts ahead of the NBA Draft each year. Obviously, being able to jump high matters more in that sport than perhaps any other.

It’s not unimportant in the NFL, either. Wide receivers with the ability to jump high can win those contested “50-50” balls. Cornerbacks are in the same boat. Pass-rushers/defensive linemen who have a high vertical can help disrupt throws even if they are unable to get to the quarterback. Does it matter if a quarterback or offensive lineman or kicker has a good vertical? Probably not.

The 2022 NFL Combine is underway in Indianapolis and there are a few props available on the vertical jump by players in attendance – some top players will not work out but instead wait for their Pro Day.

For the vertical jump, a player has his standing reach measured. Players jump from a standstill position with a goal of touching the highest flag they can reach. The difference between their standing reach and the high point of the jump is their vertical leap measurement. The goal is to measure leg strength and lower-body burst.

Recent History Says Over 43.5 Inches

The best vertical jump in NFL Combine history is 45 inches – just for a point of reference, the best mark at the 2021 NBA Combine was 48 inches by Keon Johnson from the University of Tennessee, and that helped him be drafted 21st overall by the New York Knicks – by former Georgia receiver Chris Conley in 2015 and Ohio State cornerback Donald Washington in 2009.

(There have been players who have jumped higher, with North Carolina’s Gerald Sensabaugh jumping 46 inches in 2005, but 45 inches is the official record.)

Conley was a third-round pick that year by the Kansas City Chiefs and has had a modest NFL career; he had 22 catches for 323 yards and two scores in 2021 for the Houston Texans. Washington was a fourth-round pick in 2009 by the Chiefs and lasted only three mediocre seasons.

That a player jumps higher than 45 inches this week is +225 with no at -350. The over/under for the highest jump is set at 43.5 inches, with over at -140 and under even money.

There was no Combine in 2021 due to the pandemic. In 2020, the highest jump was 44.5 inches by Michigan receiver Donovan Peoples-Jones, with no one else topping 42 inches. Peoples-Jones was a sixth-round pick by the Cleveland Browns and has become a solid contributor, catching 58 passes for 597 yards and three scores last season.

The last Combine where the best vertical was below 43.5 inches was in 2018 when Penn State tight end Mike Gesicki (now with Miami Dolphins) topped out at only 41.5 inches.

James Guill

James Guill is a former professional poker player who writes fro GambleOnline.co about poker, sports, casinos, gaming legislation and the online gambling industry in general. His past experience includes working with IveyPoker, PokerNews, PokerJunkie, Bwin, and the Ongame Network. From 2006-2009 he participated in multiple tournaments including the 37th and 38th World Series of Poker (WSOP). James lives in Virgina and he has a side business where he picks and sells vintage and antique items.

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