Players making dubious claims about their times at virtual pro days

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The coronavirus pandemic shut down pro days and individual workouts this year, which means NFL teams only have the Scouting Combine to go on if they want an idea about the raw athleticism of a prospect. That is, unless any teams are actually gullible enough to believe the numbers that some players and agents are claiming from virtual pro days.

Several draft prospects and their agents have posted workout numbers from “virtual pro days,” and most of those numbers simply cannot be believed.

Take TCU wide receiver Jalen Reagor, who ran a 4.47-second 40-yard dash at the Scouting Combine. When Reagor and his camp passed along a grainy video of Reagor running alone in a field and claimed the video showed Reagor running a 4.22-second 40-yard dash, some people bought it. But as noted by Rodger Sherman at TheRinger.com, the claim is preposterous. A 4.22-second 40 would match the fastest time ever run in the history of the Scouting Combine. Athletes train for years and can’t shave a quarter-second off their 40 times. Does anyone really believe Reagor made that kind of progress in a month?

Mississippi State cornerback Cam Dantzler, who ran a 4.64-second 40 at the Combine, claimed he ran 4.38 at his virtual pro day, but a close examination of the video of his run suggests he actually ran 4.63.

Georgia tight end Eli Wolf is claiming times in the three-cone drill and short shuttle that would make him, if the times were legit, perhaps the most athletic tight end in NFL history. Wolf wasn’t invited to the Combine, so we have no times to use for comparison, but nothing he did on the field suggests that he’s close to that kind of athlete.

The bottom line is, NFL teams simply don’t have as much information to go on in this year’s draft as they’ve had in past years. And a GM would have to be a fool to believe anything that comes out of a virtual pro day.

4 responses to “Players making dubious claims about their times at virtual pro days

  1. Timing a run is not hard. Teams/NFL could *HIRE* a local offduty cop for the timing, get him/her to sign it. They are “officers of the court” and thus expected to not lie, this would be a legal document.

    Doesn’t break the crowd or the travel bans.

  2. Most combine/ProDay numbers are meaningless anyway. 40 yard dash times have almost nothing to do with an actual football game. You can’t turn your head and run a 4.3 40 yard dash during a game. Bench pressing also has almost no bearing of actual football play. DEs don’t rush straight ahead, they rush from different angles thus making bench pressing pretty much meaningless.

    Players don’t play actual games in shorts and cutoff t-shirts. I have never understood not just going by what a player has actually done in real college games to see what actual football skills a player has. Teams should be drafting football players, not bodybuilder or track stars.

  3. There can be big differences between electronic timing and hand timing.
    I ran track in H.S. When you’re talking about a tenth or 2 of a second being a big difference in draftability,… hand timing doesn’t cut it. It has to be laser operated timing.

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