Just how valuable is the 40-yard dash when Ted Thompson, Mike McCarthy and all the rest of the 31 National Football League teams’ coaches and personnel men evaluate each of the athletes participating in this weekend’s NFL Combine in Indianapolis?
Well, maybe not that drastic, but Shoup makes a good argument and illustrates it below in the beautiful infographic he has so graciously shared with lombardiave.com. His argument that while there have been stars who have run sub-4.4 40s, there have also been plenty of duds in the draft who have been fast, but that speed hasn’t translated well onto the NFL field.
He said that it is the split times that should be monitored most when determining the value of a 40 for a running back, defensive back, wide receiver or even a linebacker. For instance, if there is one player who runs a fast split in the first 20 being evaluated against another player at the same position who runs a better split in the final 20 yards, then it will be up to the individual team evaluators to decide who would be the better fit for their particular scheme.
In addition, Shoup says, trying to use the 40 to evaluate defensive and offensive linemen is simply a joke. When are you ever going to see these guys running a flat out 40 during an NFL game? Never. So using the 40 to evaluate these guys is nothing short of silly.
The same goes, he says, for quarterbacks. While it’s great that guys like Colin Kaepernick run a great 40, but their job, first and foremost, is to play the position of quarterback. Speed isn’t really a crucial factor for NFL quarterbacks, even in these days of the pistol.
So, take a look at Shoup’s infographic below and judge for yourself and keep this information in mind as you watch player after player line up for the starter’s signal this weekend.