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 Post subject: 40 Yard Dash
PostPosted: Sat Mar 02, 2019 10:55 pm 
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Is the 40 yard dash a predictor of any success at the nfl level?

I get more and more leery of the combine stuff every year when guys start shooting up the draft based on how fast they run in shorts and track shoes, or reps of this or that. Especially the 40 yd dash stuff.

Why don't they run in football gear? Why is it 40 yds? how many times do NFL players run in a straight line for 40 yards? Why isn't the shuttle more talked about as that seems more like something a football player would need to do quickly for success.

Larry Fitzgerald, Anquan Bolden, Jerry Rice, Lynn Swann, Emmitt Smith all dropped due to slower than 4.5 40 times.

It seems especially a bad factor for running backs as well, since they are always changing direction every couple steps on most plays.

Scouts and GM's should know if a guy can make explosive plays based on his tape, not track stats.


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 Post subject: Re: 40 Yard Dash
PostPosted: Sun Mar 03, 2019 12:17 am 
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My two cents on the 40 yard dash.

Speed is a big part of the game but the 40 yard dash is nothing more than a measure of straight line explosiveness. Sure, the higher the score the faster the player...which is what most teams want...but it rarely means that the player will be a star. Geez, I forget the dudes name, but the Vikings drafted some WR like 15 years ago in the 1st round only because he ran a 4.3 at the combine and at his Pro-Day. Dude couldn’t run a route or even catch the ball though. I think he was out of the league after a few short years.

As you mentioned, players have dropped due to bad 40 times. For some reason, GMs who never played the game past Jr. High seem to think that’s all you need to win a Super Bowl. Moron head coaches would agree. Not For Long isn’t just for the players. There’s a reason why some teams never break through and when those who make the decisions pay sole attention to stuff like 40 times, the teams suffer (fans too). Film study is nice but you need to see why the player is good on film and you get more out of private workouts or Pro-Days than anything. GMs and coaches who fail to do that kind of work don’t stay around very long.

All the teams who passed on Jerry Rice, like you said, looked too much at his 40 time instead of what really mattered...which was his attention to detail and route running. His straight line speed was average at best but he constantly beat very good secondary players because he could tell who would bite against what move and who couldn’t cover certain other routes.

The two numbers I would care most about if I were looking at a player are squats and cleans. Those would tell me a lot more about the player’s base strength and explosiveness. A guy could run a great 40 but if his squats and cleans numbers are bad, I’d be worried he would fall over on a windy day.

Of course, if the player can’t understand the playbook then all of the above is meaningless...

Again, this is nothing more than just my two cents. Don’t get me wrong, you need speed. You just should never pass on one player over another just because one runs a sexier 40 time.


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 Post subject: Re: 40 Yard Dash
PostPosted: Sun Mar 03, 2019 8:11 am 
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none of the combine metrics tell the whole tale of a player...but there needs to be a base line to compare the prospects in the same light and get a feel of what they're capable of physically.

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 Post subject: Re: 40 Yard Dash
PostPosted: Sun Mar 03, 2019 8:41 am 
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Atkins&Rebel wrote:
none of the combine metrics tell the whole tale of a player...but there needs to be a base line to compare the prospects in the same light and get a feel of what they're capable of physically.


I agree, you would think in today's day and age of advanced metrics they could figure out something because the 40 drives up a ton of guys draft stock, but yet the 40 has one of the worst correlations to success of all the drill results.


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 Post subject: Re: 40 Yard Dash
PostPosted: Sun Mar 03, 2019 11:34 am 
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It does tell a lot. Not the sum of all parts but does allow us to see who is quick enough to separate and who isn't.

The ten-yard split I believe tells more than the actual 40 times

As they mentioned on NFL network. The average 10 yard split for the top ten rushers last year was 1.61. That is no accident.


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 Post subject: Re: 40 Yard Dash
PostPosted: Mon Mar 04, 2019 1:53 pm 
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I think it has some significance but honestly shouldn't be the sole trait you look for. Game tape and football speed >> 40 yard dash.

There have been some excellent RB's and WR's in the league that ran slow 40 times. There have been plenty of guys that have ran fast 40's and have bombed out. There have been guys that have ran fast 40 times and have been studs in the league.

It all goes back to the game tape and does the guy play fast on the football field. A recent example that I'll point to is that Kevin White ran a 4.35 at the combine in 2015, but if you looked at his tape from WV, he didn't play as fast to that time on the field.

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 Post subject: Re: 40 Yard Dash
PostPosted: Wed Mar 06, 2019 10:20 pm 
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The 40 is obviously more important for some positions (WR, RB, DB) that for others. What it does do is allow you to accurately compare the speed of Player A on one team with Player B on another team. When looking at game tape you can tell Player A is faster that the players around him. Another game tape shows you that Player B is faster than the players around him too. Who is faster and thus gets a higher grade on that attribute can depend on their 40 times.

It doesn't mean that Player A is better if he is faster or vice versa. It is a basis of comparison, however.

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