Physical attributes and NFL Combine performance tests between Italian National League and American Football players: A comparative study

Jacopo A. Vitale, Andrea Caumo, Eliana Roveda, Angela Montaruli, Antonio La Torre, Claudio L. Battaglini, Franca Carandente

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The purpose of this study was to examine anthropometric measurements and the results of a battery of performance tests administered during the National Football League (NFL) Combine between American football players who were declared eligible to participate in the NFL Combine and football players of a top Italian team (Rhinos Milan). Participants (N = 50) were categorized by position into 1 of 3 groups based on playing position: skill players (SP) included wide receivers, cornerbacks, free safeties, strong safeties, and running backs; big skill players (BSP) consisted of fullbacks, linebackers, tight ends, and defensive ends; lineman (LM) included centers, offensive guards, offensive tackles, and defensive tackles. A 1-way analysis of variance followed by the Tukey-Kramer post hoc test was used for comparisons between Italian players by playing position. Ninety-five percent CIs were used for comparisons between American and Italian football for the NFL Combine performance tests. Significant differences for all the variables between the 3 playing categories were observed among the Italian players; LM had higher anthropometric and body composition values than SP (p, 0.001) and BSP (p, 0.001), whereas LM performed significantly worse in the physical tests, except for the 225-lb bench press test when compared with SP (p, 0.002). American football players presented significantly higher anthropometric values and test performance scores when compared with Italian players. Administrators of professional football teams in Italy need to improve the player's physical attributes, so the gap that currently exists between American and Italian players can be reduced, which could significantly improve the quality of American football in Italy.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2802-2808
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Strength and Conditioning Research
Issue number10
Publication statusPublished - Oct 1 2016


  • American football
  • Anthropometry
  • Body composition
  • NFL Combine
  • Physical tests

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Orthopedics and Sports Medicine
  • Physical Therapy, Sports Therapy and Rehabilitation

Fingerprint Dive into the research topics of 'Physical attributes and NFL Combine performance tests between Italian National League and American Football players: A comparative study'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this