The Biggest Speed Concerns in the 2013 NFL Draft Class

Andrew NordmeierContributor IIIApril 7, 2013

The Biggest Speed Concerns in the 2013 NFL Draft Class

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    This year's NFL Scouting Combine produced report after report of amazingly fast players. This article isn't about those players. 

    Instead, we'll take a look at some of the players whose 40-yard dash times have led to concerns about their speed and how that can impact their draft positions. 

    The players featured in this article would primarily be first-round picks with one possibly slipping into the second day of the draft. In this assessment both film and dash times were reviewed to give a deeper look at who has speed concerns. 

    Start the slideshow and find out which players have concerns about their speed in the draft class. 

QB Landry Jones, Oklahoma

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    Landry Jones of the Sooners ran an awkwardly stiff 40-yard dash in 5.11 seconds. In the way the league currently favors speed, Jones is going to be left in the dust. 

    Jones' arm is his meal ticket as he's thrown for more than 4,200 yards and 39 touchdowns in each of his last three seasons at the University of Oklahoma. When it comes to rushing, he lost yards on 12 of his 13 attempts and has been victimized by defensive linemen an average of 15 times a season. 

    Jones is a pure pocket passer but needs to have some mobility to avoid being a target for pass-rushers to tee off on. He was protected by an offensive line at Oklahoma that included Lane Johnson who ran a 4.69-second 40-yard dash at the combine. Jones isn't likely to find offensive linemen with that kind of speed at the NFL level. 

    He's been described as the enigma of the draft according to NFL.com's Bucky Brooks. Jones has issues when he's pressured and the lack of speed becomes very apparent on game tape. When the pressure comes, Jones can't find enough time to make clean passes. 

    Jones would likely be a first-round pick if his speed was on the better side of the five-second split. Instead he could be a third- or fourth-round pick because teams will have concerns about his mobility. 

QB Ryan Nassib, Syracuse

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    Syracuse quarterback Ryan Nassib was another signal-caller who was above the five-second mark at the scouting combine with a time of 5.06 seconds. He did better at his pro day with a 4.95-second time, but he's still on the high side when it comes to a lack of speed. 

    Nassib has been linked to Buffalo and said it would be a match made in heaven (h/t Pro Football Talk). His former college coach (Doug Marrone) and offensive coordinator (Nathaniel Hackett) are both on the staff in Buffalo. That would allow him to have a logical and smooth transition into the NFL. 

    The tape on Nassib shows a quarterback who works out of the shotgun formation quite often to give himself breathing room from the oncoming rush. He took a one- or two-step drop and got the ball out quickly to avoid the rush.

    Regardless of whether he goes to Buffalo or somewhere else, Nassib seems to need a head start to see the field and distribute the ball well. NFL teams would adapt their blitz packages to quarterbacks who seemingly always set up in a particular formation. 

    Nassib might be going to Buffalo with the eighth overall pick, so the team may not see his lack of speed as a concern. The bigger concern is how well he would perform if he had to be under center and how that would impact his draft stock. 

QB Mike Glennon, North Carolina State

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    Mike Glennon is another part of the group of quarterbacks with weak 40-yard dash times. Glennon clocked in at the combine at 4.94 seconds. That time is too slow for him to be a multidimensional threat in the NFL. 

    Glennon can certainly make the throws needed and is able to read defenses, but he has problems with changing direction and can't extend plays with his feet. At times he looks indecisive in the pocket and stomps his feet as he tries to decide what direction to go. His lack of speed also makes it more difficult for him to try to pickup short-yardage situations on any sort of designed quarterback draw. 

    Here's the video of his run at the combine from NFL.com and you can see how the 6'7" Glennon runs in a rather upright position. Glennon worked out for the Arizona Cardinals according to NFL.com so he might be their answer behind Carson Palmer.

    The question is whether his speed and mobility will allow him to be effective as the pocket crumbles, according to Bucky Brooks of NFL.com

    If Glennon were faster, we might be talking about him at something higher than a third-round pick. He won't be in the same class speed-wise as Florida State's EJ Manuel (4.65 second 40-yard dash) or Geno Smith of West Virginia (4.59), but there's no doubt he's got the arm for the next level. 

     

OL Larry Warford, Kentucky

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    Larry Warford ran the 40-yard dash in 5.58 seconds and had a 1.92 second time in the 10-yard split. The offensive guard from Kentucky is 6'3", 332 pounds and was the prospect with the slowest time at the combine. 

    In the picture above, Warford looks like he carries weight around the middle of his body which can slow any player down, especially a lineman. 

    His lack of speed limits his ability to be a pulling guard which limits his potential at the NFL level. His slowness will hinder the ability of running backs being able to follow behind him and pick up short yardage conversions as Warford's lack of speed makes him unable to get to the second level of the defense effectively. Warford also looks lost at times when trying to block in space in the running game. 

    Warford is a straight-ahead mauler and that makes him a very one-dimensional player who is projecting to be a second-day pick in this month's draft. It makes a statement about the linemen in the draft when the one with the slowest 40-yard dash time is getting picked that early. 

OL Chance Warmack, Alabama

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    Warmack ran the 40-yard dash in 5.49 seconds at the combine which was a not-so-pretty time. At 6'2" and 317 pounds, there's no doubt he is a big man. In the picture above, he carries a good bit of it around the middle just like Warford. 

    In reviewing tape of the game against LSU, Warmack didn't have the look of much more than a blocker who locks onto his first block and can't take on a second one. On a screen play, Warmack was the lead blocker and got spun around, leaving the running back to basically fend for himself. The one time he pulled out from his left guard spot, he looked painfully slow to get to the other end of the line. 

    When he released outside on a late-game screen pass, Warmack's lack of speed caused him to completely miss the linebacker he was supposed to get out on. Luckily for the Crimson Tide, the back who caught the pass was able to slip tackles and get to the end zone for the game-winning score. 

    Warmack can be found within five yards of the line of scrimmage on virtually every play, even at the end of the play, so his lack of speed limits him to being a first-level blocker only. 

    SI.com put together a writeup on Warmack and in it was the fact that Warmack wants to gain additional weight to his frame prior to the draft. The concern is that if he's already getting beaten in the open field and doesn't get far downfield on blocks, why would putting weight on be a good idea?