In a normal year, Saturday would have consisted of a slew of 40-yard dash times generated by incoming NFL players at the Scouting Combine. Obviously, this is far from a normal year.
Still, at least one draft prospect ran really fast in a straight line on Saturday. Former Minnesota receiver Rashod Bateman, through agent Blake Baratz, says that Bateman ran a sub-4.4 40-yard dash at the EXOS combine.
Specifically, Baratz says Bateman ran a hand-timed 4.37-second 40 and a laser-timed 4.39-second 40. The effort came on turf, but obviously it’s not the exact same turf as the turf at Lucas Oil Stadium, and NFL scouts tend to obsess over potential differences between surfaces when comparing times, as they should.
The lack of a centralized apples-to-apples comparison makes the scouting process more challenging than ever this year, putting greater emphasis on the ability of scouts to assess performance from game film. That’s often complicated by differences in the quality of opponent.