It seems that a new 40-yard dash record is being set daily at the NFL Scouting Combine, but how much does it really matter?
Starting with skill-position players, Marquise Goodwin ran a time of 4.27 seconds, finishing just .03 seconds shy of Chris Johnson's record. However, speed has only gotten the fastest players at the combine so far.
Yes, Johnson had his remarkable season of 2,006 yards in 2009 and is still a home-run threat, but how good is he without a solid offensive line?
In 2012, Johnson ran for 56 yards or fewer in eight different games. In five other games, he ran for over 100 yards, but needed an 80-yard dash in three of those to reach that mark. In another game Johnson ran for over 100 yards, was in a 38-14 loss to the Texans, but got most of those yards late in the game versus the backups.
Regarded as one of the fastest wide receivers today is Pittsburgh's Mike Wallace, who ran a time of 4.33 seconds. Wallace has proven many times he can get behind the secondary, but last year he was booed constantly at the end of the season for dropping the ball.
Wallace was one of the hottest free agents just one season ago. Though, his stock didn't drop because he couldn't grasp Todd Haley's offense after holding out in the offseason, it was because he simply couldn't catch the ball consistently.
In terms of draft busts, the examples are plentiful. Ted Ginn Jr. ran a 4.28 and was picked seventh overall, but is now only used on special teams. Charles Rogers produced a 4.28 time as well and was picked second overall, but finished with 440 yards in his entire career.
Right now, most of the top wide receivers in the NFL didn't have the blitzing times at the NFL Combine. A.J. Green ran a 4.5, Brandon Marshall came in with 4.52, Hakeem Nicks produced a 4.63 and the list goes on.
Then there is Jacoby Jones. Jones, who ran behind the Denver Broncos defense late in the AFC divisional round and ran the opening second-half kickoff back for a touchdown in the Super Bowl, only ran a 4.5 40-yard dash.
What about the linemen? Terron Armstead just set the offensive lineman record in the 40-yard dash with an official time of 4.71 seconds. This run destroyed the previous mark set by Allen Barbre of 4.84 seconds.
Who is Allen Barbre? He was selected by the Green Bay Packers in the fourth round in 2007, has only played a total of 25 games in his career and has recently landed a job with the Philadelphia Eagles having not played since 2011.
Do all these quick players on the line also have excellent technique? Can they run block and pass protect? Do they have the stamina to hold up over a 16-game season?
It is cool to see all these records being shattered at the 2013 NFL combine, but that extra tenth of a second is as minimal as it looks.
All combine results courtesy of NFL.com.
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