NFL Draft Stock: Is the 40-Yard Dash Overrated?

Eddie GriffinSenior Analyst IFebruary 25, 2009

The NFL Combine is over and done with for another year, yet the madness is still very much just beginning. This year’s batch of draft prospects still have to go through the motions at least one more time between now and draft weekend.

There were some impressive performances, and then there was Andre Smith.

For many followers of the action in Indy, it's not about how a player performed in their respective position drills—it's all about the 40. No, not the stale bottle of Old English sitting in your refrigerator, but the 40-yard dash.

With the exception of those of us who prefer digital watches (I‘d raise my hand if I hadn‘t given up on buying watches after losing or breaking every one I had), there are two times when stopwatches are relevant to the masses. We just concluded one.

The other comes about every leap year.

Don’t get me wrong, I like to see if that 330-pound offensive linemen can clock in at a low five-second clip in his "invisible" doughnut/fried chicken/pizza chase.

Who doesn't love watching to see Mr. Stud Receiver break 4.3 while trying to catch up with the "invisible" Marisa Miller/Megan Fox/Beyonce/Alessandra Ambrosio.

Don't forget watching to see how many defensive ends can break 4.7 chasing an "invisible" doughnut-holding Marisa Miller/Megan Fox/Beyonce/Alessandra Ambrosio.

But is it the be-all, end-all of an elite draft prospect’s stock?

It shouldn’t be, but many mock draft's will be adjusted based on how fast so and so ran in Indy. The real draft? It will be affected at some point by it too.

Am I envious because I’m slow? Maybe. But only because I’d have been late for a lot less classes if I could run a 4.4, and maybe I‘d stop waking up out of breath after all those doughnut dreams.

How important do you think the 40 is to a prospect’s draft stock? Do you think it’s a major factor with general managers, coaches, and scouts in regards to their draft decisions? How high will you be putting Darrius Heyward-Bey in your updated mock drafts?