K.J. Hamler wasn't able to run the 40-yard dash at the NFL Scouting Combine because of a hamstring injury, so when Denver Broncos president/general manager John Elway wanted to know how fast the Penn State product is, he did the next-best thing: broke out a stopwatch and tested his game speed.
He discussed his method with Peter King of NBC Sports:
"He had a 100-yard kick return against Michigan, and so we just figured we'd time him [in a 40-yard interval] on that play. We timed him at 3.93 in the 40, but of course he had a running start. He just has a different speed than anyone else. This has become such a speed game. Watch Kansas City. We love Courtland [Sutton], we love [Jerry] Jeudy. Get Hamler in the slot against quarters coverage, releasing upfield at 4.3 or 4.32 speed, and that's going to put a lot of pressure on the safeties, I know that."
Fun fact about that kick return: It was called back on a holding penalty. Hamler caught six passes for 108 yards and two touchdowns in that Penn State win over Michigan, a game that put the 5'9" speedster even more into the national spotlight.
The Broncos selected Hamler with the No. 46 overall pick in last week's draft after taking Jeudy in the first round to aid what should be an improved Denver offense.
Hamler was a do-everything star for the Nittany Lions, working in the slot at receiver, as a running back and as a special teams maven. It's likely he'll be employed in a similar role in Denver, especially with the Broncos already having Sutton and DaeSean Hamilton to go along with Jeudy on the wide receiver depth chart.