A new world record.
Until Monday, nobody had ever been able to say that one was set at a Scouting Combine workout. Connecticut's Byron Jones changed that with a stunning, 12-foot, 3-inch broad jump that broke the world record set in 1968 by Arne Tvervaag, a Norwegian.
The broad jump has not been an Olympic event since 1912, and aside from Norway, is not a competitive event, having been long since supplanted by the long jump, in which the athlete strides toward the jumping line. So the lack of regular, massive competition ensures that records can stand a while.
But at the Combine, the standing broad jump has become a standard for measuring explosiveness from a standing start, which can be applied to how a player bursts off the snap.
The question for Jones, a 6-foot-1, 199-pound cornerback, is simple: how can this stunning leap help his draft stock? The jump, along with his 44.5-inch vertical leap that was 44.5 inches -- or three inches better tha any other cornerback in Indianapolis -- will compel teams to take a second look at Jones, who missed the last month and a half of the 2014 season due to a shoulder injury.
Jones did not run the 40-yard dash in Indianapolis, but his vertical and broad jumps revealed that he possessses high athleticism. He also has the 10th-longest wingspan and the third-largest hands of any defensive back at the Combine, so he has natural length that many teams seek.
He also ran the short shuttle and the three-cone drills, and finished with the fifth-best time among DBs in the former (6.78 seconds) and the third-best in the latter (3.94 seconds).
He also converted from cornerback to safety and back again at UConn, showing he could fit wherever needed. That's a significant attribute.
Jones might have worked his way into the middle rounds, and perhaps is now an early third-day pick. But the Combine isn't all, and for Jones, the broad jump will only open eyes, and guarantees him nothing beyond this day in the sun.
When factoring in all of the key drills -- the 40, the bench press, the broad jump, vertical jump, three-cone and short shuttle -- Utah's Eric Rowe was the best across the board, averaging in the 83rd percentile of defensive backs, the best of all DBs who took part in all five of those drills.
Tennessee's Justin Coleman was just behind him, averaging the 77th percentile on the strength of the best three-cone drill time (6.61 seconds) among defensive backs.
Another notable defensive back who looks to be a mid-round selection -- perhaps in the second day of the draft -- is Stanford's Jaquiski Tartt. The safety had a terrific 40-yard dash time relative to his 221-pound size; only Alabama's 228-pound Landon Collins fared better on a speed-to-weight ratio among safeties. Tartt also has the third-lnongest wingspan among defensive backs, surpassed only by Mississippi's Cody Prewitt and Stanford's Jordan Richards, and the fifth-biggest hands among DBs (9 7/8 inches).