The three-cone drill in football is a combine event used to test a players quickness and agility. This drill involves a series of five-yard sprints in which the player has to change direction quickly.
The three-cone drill is not weighed as heavily as the 40-yard dash though this event can still have a large effect on a players draft stock.
Understanding The Drill
The three cone drill may look a little confusing the first time you see it but in reality it is quite simple.
Three cones will be set up in a right angle formation. The space between each cone is going to be five yards.
To start the player will run five yards to the cone directly in front of him. He will then touch the cone and run back to the starting point. The player will touch the starting point and start moving towards the first cone for the second time.
The player will then work his way around the second cone and make a figure eight formation around the two cones making the right angle. After completing the figure eight the player will run back to the starting point and the time will stop.
It is easiest to understand the three-cone drill via video or pictures. Below we’ve included a video of the three cone drill being explained.
What Positions Is The Three Cone Important For?
Now that you understand what this drill is and how it works it’s time to break down which position this drill matters for.
The position that puts the most stake into the three-cone drill is the defensive end. These players are especially focused on getting a three-cone drill in the combine as it will greatly improve their draft stock.
When rushing the passer defensive ends are going to have to change direction many times. Additionally, the ability to complete five-yard sprints quickly is going to make this player much more effective in the backfield.
The three-cone drill also requires that defensive ends show bend in their ability to get around the pylons. Having good bend as a defensive end will make you a much better pass rusher and prospect.
Defensive tackle is another position that can benefit from a good three-cone drill. This position features some of the largest players on the football field. What separates them is their ability to move quickly at their size.
Playing in the interior of the defensive line these players are going to be working in tight spaces. This makes the ability to change direction and sprint five yards quite valuable.
If a defensive tackle is able to show he is still agile at his size then teams are likely to give him a better draft grade.