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What is a Relative Athletic Score? What to know about the NFL Combine player evaluation tool

Every NFL team is looking for a perfect fit, but not all of them get a perfect 10.

The NFL Scouting Combine is upon us. With that comes NFL scouts, analysts and draftniks evaluating prospects in great depth and going to great lengths to find the league’s next superstar players. While drills and athletic testing are only part of the equation in selecting foundational players, they are a very big part.

Enter Relative Athletic Score, or RAS. 

MORE: NFL Combine tracker — Live updates, results from 2023 workouts

RAS takes a prospect’s combine performance and boils it down to a simple, comparative number. While it’s not the be-all and end-all for NFL teams or the prospects who work out in Indianapolis, it’s a helpful tool for evaluating players at large.

What RAS is, and how does it work? Here’s what to know:

What is Relative Athletic Score?

Developed by Kent Lee Platte, Relative Athletic Score (RAS) is a metric that takes all of a player’s NFL Combine measurables — height, weight, wingspan, hand size, athletics and drill results — and boils them down into one number, on a scale of 0 (lowest) to 10 (highest). The metric also takes position into account, to make sure that positions are judged against each other accordingly. Hence the “Relative” part of the name.

RAS is a useful tool for draftniks and analysts because that number can then be compared against historical values put up by combine attendees since 1987.

For example: 2022 No. 1 overall pick Travon Walker posted a 9.99 RAS, which is tied for second all time for his position and among NFL players.

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Obviously, RAS isn’t an indicator of who will or will not be a quality NFL player, because it relates strictly to a prospect’s pure athletic traits and not their football savvy. Brian Johnston, who earned a perfect 10 RAS, was selected by the Chiefs in the seventh round of the 2008 NFL Draft. He played in just nine games with KC before he was waived.

On the other side, players with poor a poor RAS can turn out to be excellent players. Tom Brady posted a 1.49 all-time score, and he turned out to be pretty good.

Best, worst Relative Athletic Scores

A listing of 10 of the highest all-time RAS:

Rank Player Position Draft year RAS All-time score
1 Ernie Conwell FB 1996 10.00 10.00
2 Jarrod Cooper SS 2001 10.00 10.00
3 Justin Fargas RB 2003 10.00 10.00
4 Calvin Johnson WR 2007 10.00 10.00
5 Brian Johnston DE 2008 10.00 10.00
6 David Buehler K 2009 10.00 10.00
7 Joe Webb WR 2010 9.99 10.00
8 Cam Newton QB 2011 10.00 10.00
9 Brandon Brooks OG 2012 9.98 10.00
10 Byron Jones CB 2015 10.00 10.00

And 10 of the worst all-time RAS ever recorded:

Rank Player Position Draft year RAS All-time score
1 Stanley Flanders WR 1995 0.03 0.01
2 Niklas Kantonen TE 2020 0.00 0.01
3 Cedric Nettles SS 2017 0.00 0.01
4 Hunter Hughes QB 2018 0.00 0.01
5 Johnny Jones LB 2018 0.01 0.01
6 Mitch Norman OG 2018 0.00 0.01
7 Bentley Easley DT 2019 0.00 0.01
8 Claudio Buccalletto DE 2020 0.00 0.01
9 Igor Timotijevic DT 2020 0.02 0.01
10 Stephane Fortes WR 2020 0.02 0.01

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