The value of a player’s 40 yard dash time is ridiculously overrated. But it’s still one of the first things people talk about when bringing up a football prospect. For this reason, I thought it would be interesting to take a look at the prospects with the fastest NFL Combine 40 times, and see where they were drafted… You know, to see what kind of impact a fast 40 makes on your draft stock.
Below are the prospects with the fastest NFL combine 40 times for 2011, along with their school, position, and when they were drafted.
||School||Position||40 time||Drafted (Rd-Overall)|
|1st||Demarcus Van Dyke||Miami (FL)||DB||4.28||3-81|
|t-3rd||Edmond Gates||Abilene Christian||WR||4.37||4-111|
|t-3rd||Ricardo Lockette||Fort Valley St.||WR||4.37||Undrafted|
|t-6th||Chimdi Chekwa||Ohio St.||DB||4.40||4-113|
|t-6th||Chris Culliver||South Carolina||DB||4.40||3-80|
|t-9th||Leonard Hankerson||Miami (FL)||WR||4.43||3-79|
What can we conclude from the chart above? Hell if I know. I just thought it would be cool to analyze. From our time together discussing what NFL Scouts look for in running backs, it should be obvious that there’s more to getting drafted than just the 40 time alone.
From watching drafts for years now, I believe that, especially for running backs, wide receivers, and defensive backs, a fast 40 time will boost your stock if you’re a lower-level prospect, and validate your stock, if you’re a high-
Depending on who you spoke to, Julio Jones (Alabama) was already the #1 or #2 receiver in the nation going into the NFL combine. His 4.39 40 helped solidify and justify his high rating going into the draft, so he was drafted sixth overall.
Da’Rel Scott (Maryland), on the other hand, was projected to be a Priority Free Agent until he ran his 4.34… and you’d be a fool to think that the 4.34 didn’t have anything to do with him getting drafted in the seventh round.
And I’m sure Jake Locker’s 4.59 had at least a little to do with him getting drafted 8th overall by the Titans.
I think the debate over the proper value we should put on the 40 will never end. Nevertheless, without question it’s valuable to NFL personnel, and if it’s valuable to them, it better be valuable to the rest of us.
Do you think the 40 yard dash is overrated?
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Watch Demarcus Van Dyke (DB, Miami (FL) run a blazing 4.28 40 at the 2011 NFL Combine: