Combine 40 times of particular importance to this year’s CB class

When the defensive backs run the 40-yard dash at the NFL Scouting Combine, it’s an impressive display of straight-line speed. But how meaningful is it to determining whether these guys can play football?

According to NFL Network draft analyst Mike Mayock, it’s actually quite meaningful — at least with this year’s class, where several of the top defensive backs have questions to answer about their speed.

“We’ve got a big, physical corner class, but we’re not sure how fast they are right now,” Mayock says in a video at

Mayock says the top two cornerbacks on the board can both solidify their status with good showings in the 40.

“My top-ranked corner, Patrick Peterson from LSU, this kid’s going to weigh in at 215-220 and probably run sub-4.4,” Mayock says. “After him, Prince Amukamara from Nebraska, another kid who I think is a top 10 pick. The questions about him are top-end speed.”

Peterson and Amukamara are 1-2 at cornerback on just about every draft board we’ve seen. After them, Mayock says, come another couple of cornerbacks who have a lot to show with the 40-yard dash.

“Two big, physical corners, Aaron Williams from Texas and Jimmy Smith from Colorado,” Mayock says. “How fast they run will be huge in where they end up, with their draft status.”

And finally, Mayock says, the 40-yard dash will be an opportunity for one highly rated cornerback to make up for a bad performance in his final college game.

“Brandon Harris from Miami: Can he erase the stigma of a very bad bowl game against Notre Dame and Michael Floyd by running a great 40 time?” Mayock said. “He needs to run 4.4 or better.”

13 responses to “Combine 40 times of particular importance to this year’s CB class

  1. When i was 16 or 17……I snuck into this girls house, and was in her bedroom, when her dad awoke from the couch and i heard him comimg down the hall……I jumped out the window and ran a 3.2 80 yard dash, so fast the Deion Sanders Carl Lewis, and Darrell Green looked like fire hydrants standing idly bye…..4.4 forty is nothing….

  2. @ jw731 says: Feb 22, 2011 10:53 AM

    It’s amazing how fast you think you are going when being chased by a 300 pound man in a sweaty wife-beater

  3. The 40 is the single best predictor of which prospects will survive the rise of the undead.

  4. burntorangehorn says:
    Feb 22, 2011 11:54 AM
    The 40 is the single best predictor of which prospects will survive the rise of the undead.

    RULE 18… Limber Up!!

  5. All I know is that no one was talking about the 40 times of Revis and Asomugha so I think it’s a bit overrated.

    I mean hell Cromartie has killer straight line speed but dude gets beat on slants and cuts all day long.

  6. NFL Personnel Director: “The 40 is overrated for CB’s. If he’s not fluid and quick in changing direction, if he runs a 4.2 that just means he’s going to end up farther out of position even faster.”

  7. These draft “experts” and some GMs get way too caught up in numbers and lead to draft workout wonder duds like Mike Mamula, Darius Heward-Bey, etc. As to Mayock’s assessment, if he bases his evaluation of a prospect on ONE game then he’s a fool. He’s a bigger fool if he bases his assessment solely on the 40 time.

  8. CB is the one position where 40 times really do matter imo. Raw speed lets you recover when a receiver gets a step on you. There is no technique that compensates for that.

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