Elijah Holyfield fails to improve on slow Combine 40 time

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Georgia running back Elijah Holyfield was hoping for a big Pro Day after running a slow 40-yard dash at the Scouting Combine. It didn’t happen.

D. Orlando Ledbetter of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution reports that Holyfield’s first 40-yard dash today at Georgia was clocked at 4.81, 4.78 and 4.76 seconds by various people in attendance. Holyfield’s second 40-yard dash was timed at 4.86 and 4.89.

Those simply aren’t the times of an NFL running back, and they failed to improve on the 4.79 and 4.81-second 40-yard dashes Holyfield ran at the Combine. He’s a 4.8 40 guy, and that’s going to make it tough for him to get drafted.

Holyfield, the son of former heavyweight boxing champion Evander Holyfield, was a productive player at Georgia last year, carrying 159 times for 1,018 yards. But sometimes production even at the highest levels of college football doesn’t translate to NFL success, and those 40 times are going to be a serious red flag. It’s possible that he’ll buck the trends, but few running backs with 40 times that slow make it in the NFL.

34 responses to “Elijah Holyfield fails to improve on slow Combine 40 time

  1. That 40 time is really slow, but the people that don’t possess the physical gifts but still excel on the field are sometimes some of the best players. Jerry Rice was ‘slow’ too. Some team might give him a shot, if running back doesn’t work out, maybe special teams.

  2. I would be curious to time in the 20 yard dash, he just may be an explosive off the snap runner, that could translate in to success.

  3. Those teams that evaluate vs find reasons to hate will get a solid rb….he has produced at the highest level with consistency

  4. Lateral quickness and vision are more important for RB to at least have some success in the NFL, if not a “burner” type RB.

    …. but… those are reaaaaally bad 40 times. Like, “caught from behind AND the side constantly” 40 times.

  5. Someone needs to break down his forty to see where he is losing time. If it’s reaction time and film study shows he has no trouble getting off with the snap this means nothing.

  6. Yet somehow LeGarrett Blount has won multiple Super Bowls on two different teams while performing at a high level. No one is accusing him of being a burner. I would say someone likely will get a guy that can be a thumper late in the draft despite the slow 40.

  7. He could still play Special Teams and be a good Short Yardage back, but ya, the 40 time is disappointing, he looked great in College.

  8. This could make him the steal of the draft for some lucky team. Lateral quickness is far more important than straight-line speed AND in real games guys rarely run 40 yards, flat-out, unobstructed.

  9. I would be willing to bet that his slow time is a byproduct of his muscularity combined with poor stretching habits. He broke some long runs against some fast guys in the SEC but he wasn’t fluid. He can improve.

  10. he did produce in college vs high level competition. Still worth a late round pick or at the very least will get a chance as UDFA imo.

  11. Leroy Hoard has the fastest first 3 steps I ever saw. Some of the vikings lineman back then could only hold their block for a second which was twice as long as they needed before Hoard was gone. He didn’t exactly fly away in the open field, but boy could he hit that hole. I guess it remains to be seen where Holyfield is with this. Flat out speed is important, but quickness is equally so.

  12. It’s ridiculous how much energy is put into the 40. Can the young man play football? YES! That’s the only thing that should matter. We all know every year there are guys that run great in the 40 and they ain’t diddly squat once they get in the NFL.

  13. I don’t know if speed has anything to do with agility and quickness. It is not often an NFL running back breaks long runs. I would rather have a running back who can get 5 or 6 yards frequently and a tough yard or two on occasion.

  14. Yeah, Blount’s not a burner and yet he ran a 4.59. That highlights just how slow Holyfield is.

    gnorules says:
    Yet somehow LeGarrett Blount has won multiple Super Bowls on two different teams while performing at a high level. No one is accusing him of being a burner.

  15. That’s 6.4 yards a carry. If he racked up those numbers with such a slow 40 time, I’d be looking to draft his offensive linemen.

  16. how many times in a game to RBs get to run in a straight line in shorts and sneakers?

    there’s very few RBs that can break one and go all the way once in the open field, which is a rarity in itself. The 40 time is way over valued…look at his quickness (ability to get up to speed in a 5-10 yd window) and agility (ability to make others miss tackles).

    That said…he’ll likely go undrafted….look for the Falcons to sign him as an undrafted rookie and give him a shot.

  17. I have never watched him but if he has instincts, vision, strength, and short area quickness he could still be a decent pro RB. someone will take a late round flier on him.

  18. By no means saying he’s a comparable talent. But how fast was The Bus?

    The above post about the Falcons makes sense. UDFA, then see if he can contribute to their obvious goal of finally being able to convert short yardage.
    I’m sure other teams could look for that too.
    He’ll be in a camp. Might take him longer to get there, but he will have a shot.

  19. He’ll get drafted, just not in a higher round (lower round? Our terminology doesn’t make sense). Holyfield was also sharing the backfield at Georgia, so his numbers are a bit lower that they could have been. He’s not likely to be a franchise back, and he may not end up a successful one, but he’ll certainly get a shot from a team based on his college production. The 40 time will probably give pause but not enough to keep a team from satisfying its curiousity.

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