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40 yard times are very misleading

MiamiJoe

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Dec 1, 2012
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Jerry Rice ran a 4.6 at combine and tumbled in late 1st round because of it yet no one caught him from behind for years. Devin Hester had an okay 40 but was never caught. I think they need to time the 40 with pads and helmets so you can see football speedinstead of track speed. Corn Elder has football speed as he showed when he ran down Dalvin Cook easily.
 

3rd-43

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Chris Johnson was drafter 24th overall, later 1st round than Jerry Rice. 40 times are only one piece to a complex puzzle, as you know.
 
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deleted8647

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Yea cause corn elder will run a better 40 with a helmet and pads on lol who cares what makes him great is his instincts and ability to tackle kid tough as nails. Undersized but his style of play will transition to the NFL.
 

INCaneFan

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You can be all-world speed wise and suck at reading the play as well as reacting to it thus slower than the player who's good at those things and seemingly faster.

It's like star rankings, just a starting point.
 
Last edited:

DerekDohrman

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these 40's are ran in a very controlled environment after a few months of serious training for it.

maybe corn was slightly faster than cook when he ran him down on that one play? maybe cook was tired or had a slight injury or just wasnt in his best sprinting shape at that moment due to extolling more energy at the beginning of that play or the play before.

their 40's were .06 different i think? sometimes guys have that much difference in just the two 40's they run at the combine. werent njoku's two times at least that far off from one another?
 

The Franchise

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Does the guy play fast? That's all that matters. We had a LB here in the 90s named Mike Smith. He was clocked at 4.35 or something equally absurd. He didn't play anywhere near his 40 speed though.
 
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TreOFive

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When you run, you sweat, sweat makes the skin feel wet. If you stop running, the sweat will eventually dry
 

grover

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Every year you have one or more teams willing to take a chance on stat champs. Demarcus Van Dyke was a great Cane but not worth the Raider's 1st round pick. I love Dorsett, and he can be an important weapon for a good NFL OC. But he's got no wiggle and average hands, so can never be a #1 WR and should not have gone first round. Both blew up due to 40 times. All respect to DVD, but Elder is a much better DB. He will play many years in the league. Wish he had blown people away at the combine to go 2nd, but he still looks probable for 3rd or 4th round, and a good Pro Day could up his status.
 

LuCane

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Every year you have one or more teams willing to take a chance on stat champs. Demarcus Van Dyke was a great Cane but not worth the Raider's 1st round pick. I love Dorsett, and he can be an important weapon for a good NFL OC. But he's got no wiggle and average hands, so can never be a #1 WR and should not have gone first round. Both blew up due to 40 times. All respect to DVD, but Elder is a much better DB. He will play many years in the league. Wish he had blown people away at the combine to go 2nd, but he still looks probable for 3rd or 4th round, and a good Pro Day could up his status.
Perhaps something got confused as you were writing, but Van Dyke wasn't a 1st round pick. He was taken 81st overall.
 

Liberty City El

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Game film supersedes all...

The obsession with track & 40 times comes from trying to find small minutia & then extrapolating it into a defining quality for a player when it's not.

Darius Heyward-Bey ran a 4.3 40 at the combine too, luckily for him Al Davis was a sucker for speed & drafted him in the 1st round.

Just about everyone knew he was gonna be a bust, but his 40 time was used to justify completely over drafting him.

The overwhelming majority of WR's, RB's, CB's, FS's & SS's in the NFL do not & did not run a sub 4.4 time, that pretty much lets you know all you need to know about making an evaluation on a player simply based on his 40 time.
 

DTP

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I'll never understand the infatuation of how well a player does non-football things in a non-football environment. If a guy can play, he can play. If you watch tape and the dude is all over the field making plays who cares if what his 40 time is? At no time during a football game does a player line up in a track starting block with no pads or helmet and just run in a straight line halfway down the field. The only time any of these arbitrary measurements should matter would be if you have two guys graded exactly the same and you need some sort of tie breaker.
 

Combo

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You can be all-world speed wise and suck at reading the play as well as reacting to it thus slower than the player who's good at those things and seemingly faster.

It's like star rankings, just a starting point.

Exactly. If a player is slow in reading the play, it doesn't matter how fast he is, he's not going to make up for his delayed reaction.

Everything else equal, of course you'd rather have the guy with the better 40 time. However, in itself, it doesn't mean a whole lot.
 
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To be honest, 40 yard straight line runs are rare in football. I like to see guys who go from 0 to full speed quickly, guys who change direction at or near full speed, and guys who only go down when forcefully pulled down. But, like vertical numbers and lift numbers the 40 times do provide some data that is fun to discuss.
 

Ohio_Cane

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EVERY SINGLE drill at the combine is used by the actual experts (scouts, coaches, gms) as a tool to confirm or rebuke what they've seen on tape. Otherwise, they only care about meeting the players in person and getting to interview them.

Obviously there's some cases where someone has a superb day and it gets them to go back and re-eval them or vice-versa
 

JHallCanes

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I love Corn but that Cook play has become overblown. Cook isn't blinding fast and he's had hamstring problems for years.

I agree though 40 times rarely translate to success, especially since they have become so specialized.
 

grover

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Every year you have one or more teams willing to take a chance on stat champs. Demarcus Van Dyke was a great Cane but not worth the Raider's 1st round pick. I love Dorsett, and he can be an important weapon for a good NFL OC. But he's got no wiggle and average hands, so can never be a #1 WR and should not have gone first round. Both blew up due to 40 times. All respect to DVD, but Elder is a much better DB. He will play many years in the league. Wish he had blown people away at the combine to go 2nd, but he still looks probable for 3rd or 4th round, and a good Pro Day could up his status.
Perhaps something got confused as you were writing, but Van Dyke wasn't a 1st round pick. He was taken 81st overall.

Only thing confused was me. Thanks for the correction, Lu.

I think my overall argument still has merit, which is that even NFL teams get too enamored with 40 times. We sit and argue 40 times or 100 times, and that 1/10th to 3/10ths of a second difference is rarely a factor in on-field value, whereas quick & accurate decision making, wiggle, force & acceleration, anticipation, recovery speed, etc. are all more important.
 

sstcane

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The difference with combine numbers is you go through 4 days of non-stop meetings, medical etc. on day 2 you're up at 430 for drug testing. Meeting with teams until last 11pm sometimes. How you test on the last day also reflects how you can perform under stress. That's why sometimes pro day numbers are so much better. You're on home field and there's much less stress.
 

OriginalCanesCanesCanes

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Yet we have drooling faulktards on this site that say that a track 100 time of 11.1 is slow, and that you can't have too many of those guys in the DB backfield and be good. These low IQ imbeciles are running Bandy down.

Corn is fast enough, has good instincts, takes good angles, comes up for the run and sticks his head in there, and tackles like a mothertrucker. Give me that please.
 
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