Every year there is at least one GM that becomes “that guy” who falls in love with numbers and overdrafts a guy based on a great combine or a pro day workout. In years’ past that has always been Al Davis.
Many fans cannot simply get around the idea that “TIMED SPEED IS NOT PLAY SPEED.” Fans are generally the first ones to fall for the 4.38 40 yard time, and they can’t get their heads around the idea that “he isn’t that fast!”
There are actually some combine tests that matter and have been shown to actually translate to success on the field. Presently, the 40-yard dash isn’t one of them.
Let’s face it
These kids in the months leading up to the combine and pro days train for speed. They have professional testers, former track athletes, and testing facilities all give them the exact insights to help them achieve a lower 40-yard dash number over night. They aren’t ALL OF A SUDDEN FAST. In other words, what does that mean? It means they specifically work on different tips, tricks, techniques to lower their score. It doesn’t necessarily mean that they are much faster than their play speed on tape, it means they have learned how to win at a game basically.
For instance, imagine you were playing a board game. You consistently finished in 2nd or 3rd place every time you played. A friend of yours had a game strategy that consistently won him that same game every time. He shares that 1 insight or secret with you, and you consistently win now. Consequently, are you much smarter or more intelligent now? Moreover, do you simply know how to beat the system?
That’s exactly what the 40-yard dash is. By and large, it’s guys who have learned how to beat the system and increase a score. Nothing more, nothing less. That means that YOU need to pay more attention to what the film says then what a ‘gamed system’ tells you.
I’ve had guys go on and on about how I’m overly critical and flat out wrong about critiques of certain players in saying that they aren’t overly fast, or that they lack the long speed to keep up with speedier guys. Then they will go on and tell me about how he ran a 4.4 at the combine and clearly he doesn’t lack speed.
The reason why is ALWAYS 1 of 2 things:
- The guy simply learned how to game his testing score to increase it .1 or .2 tenths of a second faster than his actual playing speed
- He lacks the natural instincts or mental recognition to read and react quickly. This gives off the effect that he is ‘slow’ on tape. This is EVEN worse than having a slow 40 yard dash time because a player that is slow to process things can have a 4.0 flat time and still miss a lot more plays than he makes.
This article needs to be written because EVERY year people flat out fall for these same tactics and tricks. For this reason, that’s why I RARELY move a guy up much after the combine. The Senior Bowl is much more telling for me than any other off-season workout. Above all, it is actually in pads and shows how guys can compete against other top-flight guys.
If you haven’t read or gotten my guide yet guys, grab it here:
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