I spent a good portion of this weekend watching the NFL Network’s coverage of the 2009 Scouting Combine in Indianapolis. I have read many positive reviews of the NFLN’s coverage, and I agree. They presented the workout portion of the combine in a manner that always kept the action moving forward, and I did not think that the talking heads were overbearing for the most part.
There was one annoying segment in which Jamie Dukes was discussing Andre Smith and jumping back and forth over the fence on whether Smith cost himself money with his bizarre antics (yes…no question). And apparently Dukes had one conversation with Andre Smith and in Dukes’ own mind this was the most influential conversation of Smith’s life. Get over yourself Jamie. Charles Davis and Steve Mariucci are a little annoying too, but nothing terrible. Something about Charles Davis seems overly haughty, and Mariucci just needs to settle down a bit.
Otherwise though, the Combine was very enjoyable to watch. And obviously the most exciting individual event to watch is the 40-yard dash. This is certainly not the most telling or predictive drill, but it is the “glamour” workout of the combine; and we are sure to hear players’ 40 times thrown around over and over again until the NFL Draft in April. So let’s get to it. Here are the top 40 times at each position, courtesy of NFL.com:
2009 NFL Draft 40 Times
|Quarterbacks||40 Time||Running Backs||40 Time||Wide Receivers||40 Time|
|Pat White||4.55||Cedric Peerman||4.45||Darrius Heyward-Bey||4.30|
|Stephen McGee||4.66||Ian Johnson||4.46||Mike Wallace||4.33|
|Matthew Stafford||4.81||Kory Sheets||4.47||Johnny Knox||4.34|
|Rhett Bomar||4.82||Andre Brown||4.49||Deon Butler||4.38|
|Jason Boltus||4.83||Donald Brown||4.51||Mike Thomas||4.40|
|Curtis Painter||4.87||Javarris Williams||4.52||Tiquan Underwood||4.41|
|John Parker Wilson||4.87||Mike Goodson||4.54||Percy Harvin||4.41|
|Drew Willy||4.90||Bernard Scott||4.56||Demetrius Byrd||4.42|
|Chase Daniel||4.92||Glen Coffee||4.58||Louis Murphy||4.43|
|Mike Reilly||4.92||Marlon Lucky||4.59||Kenny McKinley||4.44|
|Tight Ends||40 Time||Offensive Lineman||40 Time||Defensive Lineman||40 Time|
|Jared Cook||4.50||Lydon Murtha||4.89||Lawrence Sidbury Jr.||4.64|
|Shawn Nelson||4.56||Jamon Meredith||5.03||Connor Barwin||4.66|
|Cameron Morrah||4.66||Xavier Fulton||5.04||Brian Orakpo||4.70|
|Cornelius Ingram||4.68||William Beatty||5.12||Everette Brown||4.73|
|Marquez Branson||4.71||Gerald Cadogan||5.12||Michael Johnson||4.75|
|David Johnson||4.73||Jonathan Luigs||5.14||Stryker Sulak||4.77|
|Jared Bronson||4.76||Joel Bell||5.15||Cody Brown||4.84|
|Kory Sperry||4.77||Eben Britton||5.16||Victor Butler||4.84|
|Brandon Walker||5.17||David Veikune||4.87|
|Jon Cooper||5.18||Jarron Gilbert||4.87|
|Linebackers||40 Time||Cornerbacks||40 Time||Safeties||40 Time|
|Aaron Curry||4.56||Lardarius Webb||4.46||Chris Clemons||4.41|
|Stanley Arnoux||4.61||Vontae Davis||4.49||David Bruton||4.46|
|Gerald McRath||4.61||Brandon Hughes||4.50||C.J. Spillman||4.50|
|Clay Matthews||4.67||Christopher Owens||4.51||Chip Vaughn||4.51|
|Jason Phillips||4.69||Kevin Barnes||4.52||Sherrod Martin||4.52|
*Note: The Cornerbacks and Safeties had not yet run as of this posting, so I’ll add them later when the official numbers are posted.
And now, some quick-hit observations after reviewing the 40 times and from what I saw:
Why all the fuss about Mark Sanchez?
I’m not that sold on Matthew Stafford either, but Sanchez certainly did nothing to impress me. He is apparently slower than Curtis Painter (never a good thing) and it looked to me like Sanchez underthrew the deep balls. He did, however, reportedly perform very well in interviews. Still, the guy only started one year in college. I think any team who drafts him without the intention of letting him sit for at least a year, maybe two, is making a huge mistake.
What’s up with the speed, or lack thereof, from Nate Davis and Josh Freeman?
Maybe I just didn’t watch these two guys play enough this year, and perhaps I am showing a blatant expectation bias along racial lines, but I expected these two guys to run faster than Chase Daniel. Yet, neither Nate Davis nor Josh Freeman was in the top 10 40 Times for QBs. I always thought that these two guys were known as dual-threat QBs? I realize Nate Davis didn’t run a whole lot in college, but I still thought he was a little faster. Maybe if I was up more on my Ball State and Kansas State football this would not have surprised me so much.
Get ready for some fuss about Stephen McGee from Texas A&M.
One of my sleepers in this year’s draft. McGee is a really good athlete and a much better passer than he was ever able to show in college. Plus, he is a high character guy and is balding, which means he is mature. In all seriousness, I think whoever gets this guy will have one of the NFL’s best backups (a Jeff Hostetler-type) who could end up being a viable starter at some point in the future. Don’t scoff if your team drafts Stephen McGee. Good player.
Knowshon Moreno is that slow?
Another guy that I thought was faster. Correct me if I’m wrong, but didn’t he always look like a blur on the ESPN highlights? I thought this was a 4.4-4.45 guy. I guess not. He’s slower than Beanie Wells for goodness sakes!
Beanie Wells is a badass
I know that he only ran a 4.59 40 time, but guess what: that’s still faster than Emmitt Smith, who ended up having a decent career. Wells jumped well and is another guy who reportedly did well in interviews. His big question mark is staying healthy. If he does, he could carve out a career as the next Eddie George or Jerome Bettis.
The WRs were really fast…but who cares?
Everyone is going crazy about how fast the wide receivers are. That’s great, but can any of them catch or run routes? Jerry Rice famously ran a 4.6 40 and turned into the greatest receiver of all-time. We are routinely told that speed is nowhere near the most important aspect for a wide receiver; they just have to be fast enough. Obviously if two guys are equal in everything else, you want the fast guy. And having a speed threat to stretch defenses vertically helps, but I look at it as a luxury, not a necessity.
Brian Robiskie looked really good
It’s almost a cliche at this point, but I saw the same thing everyone else did: Brian Robiskie looks like an NFL receiver. He has great technique when he catches the ball, he runs precise routes, and his speed is good enough. This is a guy who can be a #2 receiver in the NFL for a long time.
I didn’t get to watch the other positions, so I can’t accurately assess how any of the guys looked. But feel free to chime in with comments about any players who impressed or disappointed you this week in Indianapolis.
And real quick before I go, here are some other resources if you are looking for info on the workout results of the 2009 NFL Scouting Combine:
- 2009 NFL Scouting Combine 40-yard Dash Results
- 2009 NFL Scouting Combine Bench Press Results
- 2009 NFL Scouting Combine Vertical Jump Results
- 2009 NFL Scouting Combine Broad Jump Results
- 2009 NFL Scouting Combine 3-Cone Drill Results
- 2009 NFL Scouting Combine 20-yard Shuttle Results
- 2009 NFL Scouting Combine 60-yard Shuttle Results