A deep third-day NFL draft crop of wide receivers got even deeper on Thursday, as South Dakota State wide receiver Dale Moss put up a set of numbers that might have even topped Stephen Hill's combine performance if Moss had done it in Indianapolis.
The 6'3", 213-pound receiver ran a 4.45 40-yard dash, according to the Yankton Daily Press & Dakotan, and Scout.com's Aaron Wilson reported that some scouts timed Moss as fast as 4.38. Those numbers would be impressive enough, but the YDP&D also gives us these astounding results:
An eye-popping 41.5 inches in the vertical jump, 10-feet-10 in the broad jump, and a 6.32 in the 3-cone drill.
As the article points out, the vertical would have been the second best at any position, and three-cone would have been the best.
The three-cone drill tests lateral agility, which is crucial for wide receivers who want to create separation from defensive backs by having crisp and sudden breaks in their routes. Shorter players usually ace it, and long-limbed receivers like Moss usually struggle a bit because of their body type (which is an advantage when comes time to haul in a pass).
For comparison's sake, the fastest three-cone time at the combine was Florida WR/RB Chris Rainey, who is 5'8" and 180 pounds.
Moss clearly inherited some of the genes that helped his uncle, Johnny Rodgers, win the Heisman Trophy with Nebraska in 1972. Moss was actually a basketball player at SDSU, but he had an extra year of athletic eligibility because he played as a true freshman.
In that one year, Moss caught 61 passes for 949 yards and six touchdowns. Wilson reports that 10 teams were in attendance, but all 32 will be hearing about this performance and thinking about placing a bet on the third day that Moss is the next small-school wonder at wide receiver.