All the talk over Dwayne Jarrett’s pedestrian 40 times got me thinking. What is the relation between fast 40’s and NFL success, if there even is one? It has an obvious impact on draft stock and value, but is it really that important? I took all of the 40 times ran by receivers at each of the last 5 combines (Not including this year), divided them up, and found out the percentage of each group that have developed into starting WR’s. This is not a real accurate or complicated study, as each prospect has their different strengths and weaknesses. For example, one that doesn’t run as fast of a time might be much bigger or stronger than someone who does. All that this takes into account are 40 times.
Remember, some top prospects choose not to run at the combine, and wait until their pro day. Those times were not put into this study, since they are often ran on fast tracks, and the times are very unofficial.
4.3’s: 3/18 or 17%
Javon Walker; 1st Round, 2002; 4.38
Lee Evans; 1st Round, 2004; 4.39
Matt Jones; 1st Round, 2005; 4.37
4.4’s: 6/46 or 13%
Deion Branch; 2nd Round, 2002; 4.47
Andre Johnson; 1st Round, 2003; 4.40
Roy Williams; 1st Round, 2004; 4.48
Reggie Brown; 2nd Round, 2005; 4.45
Mark Clayton; 1st Round, 2005; 4.41
Greg Jennings; 2nd Round, 2006; 4.42
4.5’s: 7/60 or 12%
Antonio Bryant; 2nd Round, 2002; 4.57
David Givens; 7th Round, 2002; 4.56
Nate Burleson; 3rd Round, 2003; 4.51
Arnaz Battle; 6th Round, 2003; 4.58
Bernard Berrian; 3rd Round, 2004; 4.58
Jerricho Cotchery; 4th Round, 2004; 4.54
Marques Colston; 7th Round, 2006; 4.50
4.6’s: 4/29 or 14%
Brandon Lloyd; 4th Round, 2003; 4.62
Larry Fitzgerald; 1st Round, 2004; 4.63
Michael Clayton; 1st Round, 2004; 4.67
Michael Jenkins; 1st Round, 2004; 4.60
4.7’s: 2/10 or 20%
Anquan Boldin; 2nd Round, 2003; 4.72
Ernest Wilford; 4th Round, 2004; 4.79
Anquan Boldin and Larry Fitzgerald didn’t tear it up at the
Combine, but now they form the best WR duo in the NFL
These results don’t really prove anything other than; don’t weigh 40 times too heavily when evaluating prospects. I'm sure many of you already know this, but a lot of smart people still fall in love with fast 40’s or other impressive measurables. This also works in reverse, and it causes talented players like Anquan Boldin to fall due to poor times, but in the end, everything evens out.
All 40 Times from NFLDraftScout.com
Copy and paste this address to see all combine results dating back to 1999.
One final note: Please don’t take this article too seriously (like somebody did about my piece on 1st round QB’s), I’m not really saying anything that surprising or unbelievable, I just thought the numbers were interesting.