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Jerry Rice Ran a 4.71 40 and Rocket Ismail Ran a 4.28

Just a pre-combine thought for all of the young Al Davises among us. A 40-time doesn't make or break a guy. There's a lot more that goes into playing receiver.

Granted it's rare for a guy that runs a sub-4.65 to succeed in the NFL, but it does happen. I guess the key point is to not over-analyze 40 times.

Fun to watch and talk about? Yes, of course, but still not a big deal.
40 time is an important metric, and a big predictor of success. It has some false positives and negatives (which you pointed out), but that seems to be all people remember. More often than not, it does indicate game speed, and game speed is very important.
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Originally posted by RollinWith21n52:
40 time is an important metric, and a big predictor of success. It has some false positives and negatives (which you pointed out), but that seems to be all people remember. More often than not, it does indicate game speed, and game speed is very important.

"Speed" barely beat the 'Hawks when they lost at Indy. "Getting open" utterly destroyed the Packers when they played @ SF in the 2013 opener.
I still don't buy that Rice's time is really 4.71, someone may have fallen asleep on those hand timers.

But yeah obviously track speed without football pads =/ game speed.
not just for wr, it applies to every position. its not how fast you can run in a straight line, its how fast your brain can process the information on the field and how quickly your body can react to those situations.
Originally posted by JamesGatz83:
Just a pre-combine thought for all of the young Al Davises among us. A 40-time doesn't make or break a guy. There's a lot more that goes into playing receiver.

Granted it's rare for a guy that runs a sub-4.65 to succeed in the NFL, but it does happen. I guess the key point is to not over-analyze 40 times.

Fun to watch and talk about? Yes, of course, but still not a big deal.

If you watch guys play enough, it becomes obvious who is truly fast out on the field and who isn't. Every year some guy comes out of nowhere, runs like a 4.35 and people lose their minds but when you go back and look at his performances, he doesn't play nearly close to that speed. I guess, beware the allure of experienced track athletes who have an edge in these drills and people who have been coached up for the Combine events but their athletic performance isn't reflected in the quality of their performance out on the football field.
Originally posted by Phoenix49ers:
Originally posted by JamesGatz83:
Just a pre-combine thought for all of the young Al Davises among us. A 40-time doesn't make or break a guy. There's a lot more that goes into playing receiver.

Granted it's rare for a guy that runs a sub-4.65 to succeed in the NFL, but it does happen. I guess the key point is to not over-analyze 40 times.

Fun to watch and talk about? Yes, of course, but still not a big deal.

If you watch guys play enough, it becomes obvious who is truly fast out on the field and who isn't. Every year some guy comes out of nowhere, runs like a 4.35 and people lose their minds but when you go back and look at his performances, he doesn't play nearly close to that speed. I guess, beware the allure of experienced track athletes who have an edge in these drills and people who have been coached up for the Combine events but their athletic performance isn't reflected in the quality of their performance out on the football field.

All of this. I was actually watching a few youtube clips of old 49ers games, mainly from the 80s. I know I truly believed as a child, Jerry Rice was the fastest receiver in the game lol. It seemed like no one could catch him from behind once he had that ball in his hands. That's what you call football speed. When a guy plays fast and is outrunning guys on the field who have probably been timed to be faster than he is.

Fortunately, a guy like Baalke isn't fooled by 40 teams. He looks for own field production.
[ Edited by LifelongNiner on Feb 14, 2014 at 9:29 AM ]
  • Chico
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Every year there are a lot of players & positions that get over analyzed and missed in the draft. Look at Bowman, Kap, Dick Sherman(even though we HATE him)...all these guys fell in the draft because the GMs & Coaches saw something they didn't like. It takes one little thing and they drop like a rock. Same thing goes for kids moving UP in the draft. Djmarcus Russell, Ryan Leaf, Arron Curry...all moved up in the draft because of a few little things and were suppose to be "can't miss" gusy coming out. The draft is an art, not a science and there's no gauranteed method on drafting these guys.
Good post and comments.

40 time a one factor but doesn't guarantee success.

IMO game tape says 90% of it. I do take into account how the coaches use that talent.

Some players take some time to mature like Staley - many complained about him for the first few years. But now he is one of the best T's in the game. Finding that kind of potential is tough.

DHBey is real fast but a third rate receiver. Steve Smith -Panthers, is not a real burner BUT is one of the very best receivers in football. Never played on a descent team. If he had played for us or w/Packers when Farve played he'd have set some records.

I think Montcrief is that type of guy. I'm really hoping we can snag him.
Just goes to show you how important good route running is.
I can't for the life of me figure out why the NFL insists on only doing the track-style 40. How hard would it be to add position-specific speed-timing drills, IN PADS?

WRs start standing up, go on the whistle and run a 40 yard fly route, and they have to look over their shoulder for the last 10 yards. CBs start in normal defensive stance, and at the whistle they open hips and run that same 40 yard fly route. Defensive linemen start in stance and run 10-15 yards in a curve around a barrier. Etc.

Wouldn't this give teams a much better idea of true speed, in pads, in a game situation? Why does it matter if one WR is better at getting in and out of a track stance? It doesn't!
Originally posted by DarkKnight1680:
I can't for the life of me figure out why the NFL insists on only doing the track-style 40. How hard would it be to add position-specific speed-timing drills, IN PADS?

WRs start standing up, go on the whistle and run a 40 yard fly route, and they have to look over their shoulder for the last 10 yards. CBs start in normal defensive stance, and at the whistle they open hips and run that same 40 yard fly route. Defensive linemen start in stance and run 10-15 yards in a curve around a barrier. Etc.

Wouldn't this give teams a much better idea of true speed, in pads, in a game situation? Why does it matter if one WR is better at getting in and out of a track stance? It doesn't!

You raise a very valid point. The combine drills leave a lot to be desired, in my opinion.

For example, repping out on bench press is a horrible measure of on-field strength and explosiveness.

That said, a lot of scouts and personnel people have come out and said that the combine is mostly about the interviews and medical screenings.
Originally posted by JamesGatz83:
You raise a very valid point. The combine drills leave a lot to be desired, in my opinion.

For example, repping out on bench press is a horrible measure of on-field strength and explosiveness.

That said, a lot of scouts and personnel people have come out and said that the combine is mostly about the interviews and medical screenings.

If they made the tests more appropriate, those scouts might be more interested. I personally spend way more time watching the position drills. Especially with the wideouts, you can really spot the guys who are true route runners and/or true pass catchers, and not just athletes.
[ Edited by DarkKnight1680 on Feb 14, 2014 at 10:30 AM ]
Originally posted by RollinWith21n52:
40 time is an important metric, and a big predictor of success. It has some false positives and negatives (which you pointed out), but that seems to be all people remember. More often than not, it does indicate game speed, and game speed is very important.

I agree with you to an extent as far as it being an important metric. I just think people misuse it.

If a receiver comes out and runs a time below 4.65, it is very unlikely (but obviously not impossible) that he'll succeed in the league. There are only a handful of examples in league history, so we can use that as a sort of disqualifier or red flag.

Where people go wrong, however, is thinking that running a 4.30 guarantees success. There are as many examples of very fast failures as there are very fast successes.

Bottom line: As long as a guy runs under 4.6, I don't think there's reason to worry too much about 40 times--provided the rest of his evaluation indicates he can play.
[ Edited by JamesGatz83 on Feb 14, 2014 at 10:32 AM ]