The 2018 NFL Draft happened this past weekend.  I watched some of it, but not like I usually do.  I am knee deep in track season stuff and just didn’t have the time.

What I really enjoy watching is the NFL Combine.  I watch that like I’m binge watching a TV series on Netflix.  I used to do a blog post that centered around where I thought these athletes would get drafted based on how fast they ran their 40 yard dash at the combine.

Since I didn’t write that article this past year, we are just going to skip to the results portion.  Yes, the 40 yard dash doesn’t have a direct correlation for most football players for their position.  But, it is an indicator of the type of athlete you might be getting (in my opinion).

That being said, here were a few of the fastest 40’s by position that participated at this year’s NFL Combine and where they were drafted in this year’s draft.  Let’s see if speed brought these athletes their football dream realized:

  • Nyheim Hines is a running back out of N.C. State. He ran the fastest 40 out of all the running backs invited to the combine at 4.38.  It earned him a 4th round draft pick this year.  Now the second fastest back at the combine was Saquon Barkley at 4.40.  He got picked 2nd overall by the Giants.  They say he was the most talented back in the draft and his speed sure was one indicator of that.
  • The fastest wide receiver was J. Chark from LSU. His 40 time was a 4.34.  BLAZING FAST.  The NFL likes speedy receivers and he was picked in the 2nd round by the Jacksonville Jaguars.  Let’s hope he doesn’t have hands of stone.
  • The new NFL tight end has to have size and speed. Mike Gesicki was tied for the fastest tight end at the combine with a time of 4.54.  This product from Penn State was good enough to get drafted in the 2nd round by the Dolphins.  They’re hoping he is the next Gronk and that his speed will provide the mismatches they desire.
  • Nothing is more coveted than a speedy defensive back to cover wide receivers. Donte Jackson of LSU and Denzel Ward of the Ohio State University tied for the fastest DB’s with a time of 4.32.  Ward was picked 4th overall by the Cleveland Browns while Jackson went in the 2nd round to the Panthers.  Both will probably get a nice signing bonus because of their awesome speed.
  • Offensive lineman hate running the 40, but usually if they are fast they are pretty athletic. Brian O’Neill out of Pittsburgh ran the fastest 40 with a 4.82.  This was one of the reasons the Vikings took him with a 2nd round pick.  Training for that awful 40 and getting your speed up certainly paid off now didn’t it?
  • You got to love a fast defensive lineman, especially an end. The Minnesota Vikings certainly did as they took Marcus Davenport with their 1st round pick.  At the combine, Davenport ran faster than every defensive lineman as he sported a 4.58.  Now he is running all the way to the bank.  Cha-Ching!

You need speed.  Purists might hate the combine and think it is a “beauty contest”, but these coaches put these kids through these drills for a reason.  Yes, ultimately what they do on the field will seal the deal.

But, boy it sure feels reassuring if these kids plow through these tests like the 40 yard dash in convincing style.  Then you can feel really confident you made the right pick.