It makes for a great headline: An unheralded prospect from a small school showed up at Minnesota’s Pro Day and turned in a 40-yard dash that was faster than anyone has ever run at the NFL Scouting Combine.
Unfortunately, you’d have to be a fool to believe it.
According to FOX Sports North, Northern Iowa receiver was timed at 4.19 seconds in the 40, which would break Chris Johnson’s Combine record of 4.24 seconds. Sinkfield said afterward that that’s what he was aiming for.
“That was the expectation, really. Aim big. I was trying to get that 4.1,” Sinkfield said.
But come on. If someone timed Sinkfield at 4.19 seconds, that means someone had an itchy trigger finger on his stopwatch. Does anyone seriously believe that Sinkfield, who has no major track and field accomplishments beyond high school, is faster than Broncos return man Trindon Holliday, who won the NCAA 100-meter dash title? That’s what you’d have to believe if you believe Sinkfield ran a 4.19-second 40. Sinkfield caught 43 passes for 499 yards and four touchdowns in his senior season, and his longest catch of the year was 32 yards. Does anyone seriously believe that a guy who can run a 4.19-second 40 would only average 11.6 yards a catch, only score four touchdowns and never break one longer than 32 yards against Division I-AA competition? If Sinkfield ran a 4.19-second 40, then I had a 4.0 GPA.
Fortunately, we don’t only have to rely on this one dubious stopwatch for Sinkfield’s 40 time. Scott Studwell, the Vikings’ director of college scouting, was also timing Sinkfield and told the Pioneer Press that Sinkfield is fast, but he didn’t break 4.3 seconds in any of his three 40-yard dash attempts.
“He ran in the high 4.3s. He can run. He ran fast. He tested well,” Studwell said.
Good for Sinkfield for running in the high 4.3s. That’s a great time, a time that will get him noticed by NFL teams. Only 11 players at the Scouting Combine were in the high 4.3s or faster.
But the reports of the 4.19 are a good reminder that Pro Day numbers aren’t always what they’re cracked up to be. When you hear a Pro Day number that sounds like it couldn’t possibly be true, don’t believe the hype.