With the 2013 NFL scouting combine all wrapped up, we now have an empirical basis with which to evaluate each prospect's athletic prowess. So what better way to celebrate than by power ranking the top 10 to put them in their indisputable spots?
While perusing this list, remember that we're talking about being an athlete. There are more physical skills than just being able to run fast 40 times.
Can you change direction quickly? Are you strong? How high can you jump?
These are all relevant questions. But so is the size of the player. We can all agree that a 300-pounder running a sub 4.8 is more impressive than recording a 4.4 40-yard dash while weighing 180 pounds.
So who's the athletic king of the 2013 NFL draft class? Click through to find out.
All combine results provided by NFL.com.
Knile Davis does a bit of everything, and he does it quite well.
Need speed? Davis clocked a faster-than-anticipated 4.37 seconds in the 40-yard dash. And don't forget that the rock-solid running back checks in at 227 pounds.
Prefer your running backs to be strong? Davis went all He-Man at the combine and put up a linemen-worthy 31 reps.
The quicker 40 and extra reps gave Davis the edge over just-outside-the-top-10 Christine Michael.
Davis' impressive college career (5.3 yards per carry) was clouded by his struggles with ankle issues. The hard-charging rusher could very well become the steal of the draft if too much attention is paid to those medical concerns.
"How are you going to put an Olympian at No. 9? This list is ridiculous!"
I'm aware of Marquise Goodwin's Olympic exploits. But football is filled with crazy athletes and ninth is still in the top few percentile of all the potential draftees.
Not to mention, there's only so much information available. For instance, an outstanding vertical jump is essential to an athlete and a wide receiver, and Goodwin didn't participate in that event (according to NFL.com).
Additionally, Goodwin doesn't check in with outstanding size. He might have rocketed to the fastest 40 at the combine (4.27), but he only had 183 pounds of drag.
Moving 183 pounds at a 4.27 clip is impressive, but not as much as blasting 303 pounds at a 4.72 rate. It's the equivalent of throwing a six-pound medicine ball at the same speed as a basketball.
Or something like that. My science kit is likely somewhere in my mother's basement, and I'm not sure a that a chipped beaker and baking soda would help much here anyways.
Regardless, the point is that Lane Johnson is a large man who can move. And his 4.52 20-yard shuttle time only confirms that.
Lastly, Johnson also posted a 34-inch vertical jump with 28 reps on the bench to boot. He's got it all.
"He did it again! Tavon Austin at No. 7? Lay off the insanity peppers, writer."
One, I prefer wordsmith. It sounds more regal.
Two, I questioned having Austin this high or including him at all.
He checked in with middling strength (14 bench reps) and an unflattering vertical (32 inches). It takes more than just speed (4.34 40-yard dash) to be an athlete.
The only reason that Austin stayed in the top 10 was his quickness. He dominated the 20-yard shuttle with a 4.01 mark.
How does one become a workout legend? First, you break records.
Terron Armstead did that. No offensive lineman has ever run faster than his 4.71 40-yard dash. Well, at least not at the combine.
He also showed off a 34.5-inch vertical and demonstrated respectable strength with 31 bench reps.
Armstead was so impressive that he may have "athlete-ed" himself into a new position.
Teams will want to see OT Terron Armstead, who blew up at the combine, try out at tight end at Ark.-Pine Bluff pro day. Might end up there.— Gil Brandt (@Gil_Brandt) February 28, 2013
And don't forget he weighs 306 pounds.
Armstead used the combine to build himself a draftable profile, Ryan Swope decided to rewrite his.
The book on Swope prior to his Indy performance was that he was a nice receiver who could be relied on to work the middle and catch the ball.
Now, things are a bit different.
Swope proved the he-doesn't-have-blazing-speed moniker false with a 4.34 40. That's as fast as renowned speedster Austin and would have been faster than every wide receiver in last year's draft.
Additionally, he's bigger than Austin (205 pounds to 174 pounds) and knocked out 37 inches with his leaping ability.
It'll be fun to argue where Swope fits in over the next two months because this story just took a surprise turn. I can't wait to see how it ends.
"You do realize that there is more to football than offense, right? Defense wins championships after all."
As for that second remark, no comment. That argument always ends with as much resolution as a LeBron James debate.
But when it comes to the first question: yes. Yes, I do. That's why you won't find a single non-defender from here on out.
Dion Jordan is the first one to be highlighted here. The 6'6", 248-pound defensive end beat Montee Ball in the 40-yard dash with a 4.60 showing.
Jordan also demonstrated explosive quickness with a cat-like 4.35 20-yard shuttle time. Only his average 32.5-inch vertical jump and his non-participation in the bench press kept him in the fourth spot.
How does a small-school prospect get into the draft-day mix?
By being a ridiculous athlete and wrecking the combine.
Oh, and doing everything well.
Robert Alford raced through his 40 in 4.39 seconds, pushed 225 pounds a tidy 17 times, completed the 20-yard shuttle in a respectable 4.23 seconds and jumped an astounding 40 inches.
Alford's stock is rising quickly as the small-school label is wasting away. Jump on now, because this hype train is leaving the station.
Wow. Even I think that was overly corny.
"Dude, Barkevious Mingo is second? SMH."
And you thought because I gave you a couple slides off from this gimmick, that it wouldn't return. For shame.
Anyways, Mingo does come in second, which means he's more athletic than 300 some odd other guys. There's a reason he gets so many Aldon Smith comparisons.
Mingo busted out a 4.58 40-yard dash, which is phenomenal considering he checks in at just under 250 pounds. His 37-inch vertical jump is also extremely impressive, but not enough to overcome his non-participation in the bench press and his 4.39 20-yard shuttle.
Again, Mingo is a beast. Just not the best.
If you've been listening for the past couple months, you've heard Ezekiel Ansah's name numerous times. Despite his rather forgettable on-field performance (4.5 sacks in 2012), his draft stock has built up steam thanks to his physical prowess.
Ansah busted out a 4.63 40-yard dash despite having to pull 271 yards the entire way. His 34.5-inch vertical jump is nice and combines nicely with his explosive burst (4.26 20-yard shuttle).
The biggest difference between him and Mingo is the extra 30 pounds that Ansah is lugging around. The basic formula is that 30 pounds is greater than 0.05 seconds.
Enjoy the crown and the hype, Mr. Ansah. Just don't screw it up at your pro day.