Originally posted by Phoenix49ers:
Originally posted by GhostofFredDean74:
The number of actual coaches that sit there and time the 40's (and the 10 yard splits, which are almost as important) let's you know how valuable this piece of information is. Speed kills in the NFL, and a fraction of a second can mean the difference between making plays and not making plays...winning games and losing them. It's not the most important measureable by any stretch, but it's pretty important especially for WRs, DBs and RBs.
True but you also have a lot of guys that play faster or slower than their timed speeds indicate. Its a nice nugget of information but every single year there are guys who didn't post flashy numbers at the Combine and yet still manage to blow up at the next level. Conversely there's players who have outstanding measurables but fail to make an impact in the NFL. There's a world of difference between running on a flat surface in shorts and running across a football field, wearing pads and a uniform.
It's part of the overall puzzle of talent evaluation; you definitely don't want to draft a guy purely on his 40 time, especially if the tape and overall production is bad. But you absolutely need to know what kind of top-end speed these guys have, especially when it comes to one-on-one match ups on the outside (WRs/DBs). Does a guy need consistent safety help over the top because he can't match up, or does he have the speed to at least stay with most NFL WRs?
Btw, I definitely agree that there's a difference between track speed and football speed, and that's where the tape comes into play. Marquise Goodwin is slightly faster than Tavon Austin, but he doesn't have nearly the football speed (or play-making ability) that Austin has...which is why Austin will likely be a mid-to-high first rounder and Goodwin might be available in the 3rd.