“I have two defense ends, both are 6’4” and 260 pounds, but one runs 4.6 and the other a 4.8 which one do you think I am going to draft? The one who runs a 4.6 every time.”
Veteran NFL Scout speaking on the importance of 40 times.
Hopefully this doesn’t sound disrespectful to the NFL scout, but you are an idiot. I have not cover the NFL for 30 years like this scout. I have never been a GM, Coach or scout on any level, but I have common sense and you would think these NFL evaluators would have some too.
Let’s take the above statement about the two defensive ends. First let’s think about the position of defensive end. Their primary role on the team is to get to the quarterback. The quarterback is usually ends up about 7-10 yards from the Defensive end after the ball is snap. Standing in the way of the Defensive end and the quarterback is a 300lbTackle that on many occasions will get help from a guard, tight end and possibly a running back. Given that information what do you think would be the attributes that you would be looking for in a Defensive End if you were drafting one?
I will give you a minute to think about it.
Ok minute is up, now a common sense person may come up with attributes like strength, quickness, lateral movement, explosion, desire and hand movement. I could be wrong, but I don’t recall ever seeing a defensive end running 40 yards in a straight line with no one in front of him to get to the quarterback. Instead of relying on a .2 second difference on an irrelevant 40 time how about, I don’t know, looking at some game film. If the DE who ran the 4.8 is constantly getting pressure on the QB, fighting through double teams like his life depending on it and executes a swim move to perfection, I would be more inclined to take him over a 4.6 guy.
The overemphasis on 40 times even when I was young Bona Fide Sports Expert has always perplexed me. It is like a disease that turns normal rational people into idiots. I have a name for this disease.
“Pretty Girl Syndrome”
Every guy I have ever known has had this situation happen to them before. They have a female friend probably someone they grew up with who rates about a 7 on the pretty scale. Everything else about her is a 10, she is smart, intelligent & funny. You have seen her all her life and know she is the perfect girl for you. Then one day a new girl shows up and she is a 10 maybe even an 11. She is perfect physically; mentally well that is another story. She isn’t that bright, not very funny, kind of shallow and pretty much nothing more that eye candy. But she is so breathtakeningly beautiful you can’t help but be drawn to her. Her physical presence has clouded your judgment, so when it comes down to who to be with you pick her over your friend who is just a 7, but great at everything else.
So a year later you have realized having a 10 isn’t all what it is cracked up to be, yeah she is still pretty, but she isn’t bringing anything else to the table. After awhile you realized that just being beautiful isn’t enough you need a little more, you need some intangibles, move on to someone else and the next time you see her she is all made up looking great and doing her thing. Her man is as happy as can be while you are miserable then it hits you. You had a 10 in your presence the whole time, but you decided to ignore what was right in front of your face and go with the flash in the pan.
Vernon Gholston is your girlfriend.
Speed kills in the NFL, but not 40 yard track speed it is your football speed that makes a difference. Can you take that track speed and convert it to NFL speed?
I will never understand for the life of me why they don’t have players run their 40s in full pads with someone chasing them.
I remember scouting Felix Jones and Darren McFadden coming out of Arkansas.
McFadden ran a 4.33 40.
Jones ran a 4.49 40.
McFadden was considered the better “pro prospect”, but as I watched film two things immediately stood out. Jones was a much better between the tackle running than people gave him credit for. Secondly I saw McFadden chased down from behind a lot, but I never saw Jones get caught from behind ever.
It was clear to me that Jones would be a more explosive player in the NFL than McFadden and while both have been injury prone if you were to re-do that draft Jones would be taken before McFadden.
40 Times are great, but the film doesn’t lie don’t get stuck with a Jessica Simpson (No Romo).