The three-cone drill, or 3-cone drill, is a test performed by American football athletes at the NFL combine. It is primarily run to evaluate the agility, quickness and fluidity of movement of players by scouts, particularly for the NFL draft but also for collegiate recruiting. While not as highly regarded a test as the 40-yard dash, it is still an important barometer used by NFL personnel to compare players.
Three cones are placed five yards apart from each other forming a right angle. The athlete starts with one hand down on the ground and runs to the middle cone and touches it. The athlete then reverses direction back to the starting cone and touches it. The athlete reverses direction again but this time runs around the outside of the middle cone on the way to the far cone running around it in figure eight fashion on his way back around the outside of the middle cornering cone. Athletes are timed for this whole procedure. This drill is primarily used to determine a player's agility.
- Pete Williams (2007). The Draft: A Year Inside the NFL's Search for Talent. Macmillan. ISBN 9781429910019.