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View Full Version : Does 40 time matter for DEs?


Bucs_Rule
07-08-2010, 10:40 AM
40 times gets a ton of attention, that is justifiable so for guys that often reach their top end speed DBs, WRs, RBs.

For DL, they rarely do. Wouldn't acceleration, agility, strength and reach be way more important than top end speed? To get past an OL a couple feet in front of you, being able to do quick moves and fakes is essential, that requires acceleration and agility. Strength really helps for run support, bull rushing. Strength and agility really help for keeping balance when lineman shove you as you get past them. Reach is also very important to get to the body of OTs, fight them off when they try to do that to you and swiping at QBs as you fly by him.

40 time can help when chasing down RBs, QBs, just the others seem way more important for DE to do their jobs, beating OTs on every play.

tjsunstein
07-08-2010, 10:46 AM
You mentioned acceleration. That can be judged in incriments during the 40. You will, more times than not, see coaches and scouts timing their first 10, 20 yards and noting that rather than their complete time.

regoob2
07-08-2010, 10:55 AM
40 times matter for every position. It's not as important but still important.

Mr. Goosemahn
07-08-2010, 11:07 AM
IMO, as mentioned by another person, it's the acceleration that's important, not the full speed. A defensive end will rarely be able to showcase his true speed in an uncontested race. It's much more important for WR because it helps them get separation (same for TE) and for RB to gain yards and outrun defenders.

For me, the broad jump, 10 yard dash, 20 yard dash, and the cone drills are more important than the 40 yard dash for a defensive end.

The broad jump shows lower body power, how far he can jump just using the strength in his legs. Translating this to games, how well can he hold against offensive linemen, can he bull-rush, etc. The 10 yard dash and 20 yard dash help measure acceleration, explosiveness off of the snap. Cone drills help measure athleticism, agility, and change of direction skills, all of which are important when adjusting to what the opposing lineman is doing.

Of course, technique then comes in and ultimately that's the most important aspect of the game. Being a great athlete only gets you so far. Jared Allen, the league's best DE, is a good athlete, but he's nowhere near the freaks that Mario Williams and others are. He's just a very smart player with great technique.

MaxV
07-08-2010, 11:09 AM
For the majority of the positions I would say quickness is much more important then speed.

The one exception would be CBs that play in a Man-Coverage systems.

zachsaints52
07-08-2010, 11:42 AM
You mentioned acceleration. That can be judged in incriments during the 40. You will, more times than not, see coaches and scouts timing their first 10, 20 yards and noting that rather than their complete time.

What this guy said.

Mr.Regular
07-08-2010, 01:12 PM
Acceleration and initial burst are definitely more important than straight line 40 yard speed, but the 40 time is still a good number to look at. 40's help show overall athleticism. A freakishly good 40 time can help reveal a player's athletic ability and show he has some tools to work with. His burst and acceleration though is obviously more relevant.

TACKLE
07-08-2010, 01:16 PM
Although 10 yard splits are a more valuable time for D-Lineman, the 40 is still a good indicator of the players overall athletic ability.

TitanHope
07-08-2010, 01:54 PM
Vertical jumps and broad jumps can also measure a DE's burst, along with their 10 and 20-yard splits.

40 times are what they are - another measurement that's important for some and not for others, and it works differently for every position and player. I would say it's more important for the DE's who are possibly converting to 3-4 OLB's, so like I said, it's a subjective process in an event that's supposed to be entirely objective, if you think about it.

wonderbredd24
07-08-2010, 02:06 PM
The 10, 20, and the 3 cone.

The 40 is worth very little

PossibleCabbage
07-08-2010, 02:25 PM
40-time does not matter at all for pass rushers. However, that's misleading because it's important that pass rushers run the 40, because their 10-yard splits (and to a lesser extent their 20-yard splits) are very important. If you're going to look at combine numbers to judge pass rushing potential, the three most important to look at are 10-yard split, vertical jump, and bench. The short shuttle and the 3-cone are also important, particularly for pass rushers who will play more in space, but nothing is less important than the 40 time.

BaLLiN
07-08-2010, 02:37 PM
Mount Cody proves that the 40 for a DT is worth next to nothing

Halsey
07-08-2010, 02:44 PM
Why do people overanalyze 40 times? It's simply a method of measuring speed and acceleration. Those things matter for just about any player who sets foot on a football field. A DE's job is not just to try to bullrush through an OT to get to the QB. They also need to be able to use their speed to get to a QB, or run after a ball carrier. You do know that DEs have to be able to chase RBs and pass catchers, right? They don't just stand around and watch when the QB doesn't have the ball in his hands. Contrary to what some of seem to think, NFL teams don't ask players to run 40s for the heck of it.

PossibleCabbage
07-08-2010, 02:48 PM
Mount Cody proves that the 40 for a DT is worth next to nothing

We should let a guy actually play a single snap in the NFL before we use him as evidence or counterevidence for or against a specific bit of conventional wisdom. Remember, teams use combine numbers to predict how a guy will do against NFL players, not to figure out what round he'll get drafted in.

I mean, it's far more convincing to say that B.J. Raji's 1.69 10-yard split and him going ninth overall proves that speed is important for DTs, than Cody's 1.93 10-yard split and him going in the second proves that speed is not important for DTs.

RaiderNation
07-08-2010, 03:46 PM
Same question comes up every year. If it didnt matter and coaches and scouts werent looking at it then they wouldnt be doing them

superman8456
07-08-2010, 03:48 PM
Same question comes up every year. If it didnt matter and coaches and scouts werent looking at it then they wouldnt be doing them

Bragging rights?

BaLLiN
07-08-2010, 04:06 PM
We should let a guy actually play a single snap in the NFL before we use him as evidence or counterevidence for or against a specific bit of conventional wisdom. Remember, teams use combine numbers to predict how a guy will do against NFL players, not to figure out what round he'll get drafted in.

I mean, it's far more convincing to say that B.J. Raji's 1.69 10-yard split and him going ninth overall proves that speed is important for DTs, than Cody's 1.93 10-yard split and him going in the second proves that speed is not important for DTs.

i meant as far as the draft, because 40 times are relevant for pre-draft evaluations. Should've clarified i know, but your entirely right, Cody still hasn't proved anything and probably won't for a year or two

LizardState
07-08-2010, 04:38 PM
Answering the thread question, no they don't.

For DEs, what matters is (in this order of importance):


1st step
Shedding blocks (by agility, upper/lower body strength, whatever means)
Head for the game (intelligence, for lack of a better more specific term)
Quick-twitch neuromuscular responsiveness/Reaction time
3 cone drill
Vertical jump


Always thought that for DE effectiveness it's 95% about those 1st 2.

ToldLikeItIs
07-08-2010, 05:42 PM
I know Adrian Clayborn runs around a 4.85 fwiw.

tjsunstein
07-08-2010, 06:06 PM
I thought, being that this was a draft board, that stuff like this was common knowledge.

NY+Giants=NYG
07-08-2010, 06:22 PM
40 times gets a ton of attention, that is justifiable so for guys that often reach their top end speed DBs, WRs, RBs.

For DL, they rarely do. Wouldn't acceleration, agility, strength and reach be way more important than top end speed? To get past an OL a couple feet in front of you, being able to do quick moves and fakes is essential, that requires acceleration and agility. Strength really helps for run support, bull rushing. Strength and agility really help for keeping balance when lineman shove you as you get past them. Reach is also very important to get to the body of OTs, fight them off when they try to do that to you and swiping at QBs as you fly by him.

40 time can help when chasing down RBs, QBs, just the others seem way more important for DE to do their jobs, beating OTs on every play.



I'd look for other drills, specifically 3 cone, shuttle, and 10 yard and 20 yard times. Factor in measureables and other stuff, and that would give me a good picture on the prospect.

bigbluedefense
07-08-2010, 06:24 PM
Yes. The 40 counts for every position. Don't overanalyze the 40 time, its just a measure of speed.

Of course other drills should get more attention than the 40 for specific positions, but the 40 is ran for a reason.

Bottom line is this is a game based on speed, if you're not fast enough to play, you won't get drafted. That's why everyone runs a 40. And of course, they measure the increments of 10 yards as well, we as casual fans just get the 40 time.

Bucs_Rule
07-08-2010, 06:37 PM
Same question comes up every year. If it didnt matter and coaches and scouts werent looking at it then they wouldnt be doing them

The media really makes a huge deal of it, but that doesn't mean scouts and GMs do. The combine has so many drills, the media won't want to explain each one and go through them for different players. They only have so much time and so many players to go over.

Since it gets the most media attention, the combine would never take it away from any position. Even OGs do it.

I agree that it does matter some, just nowhere near what the media makes it out to be.

yourfavestoner
07-08-2010, 06:41 PM
Why do people overanalyze 40 times? It's simply a method of measuring speed and acceleration. Those things matter for just about any player who sets foot on a football field. A DE's job is not just to try to bullrush through an OT to get to the QB. They also need to be able to use their speed to get to a QB, or run after a ball carrier. You do know that DEs have to be able to chase RBs and pass catchers, right? They don't just stand around and watch when the QB doesn't have the ball in his hands.Contrary to what some of seem to think, NFL teams don't ask players to run 40s for the heck of it.

Well, the original point of the 40 was to see if a player was fast enough to cover punts. The average punt's hangtime is around 4.5 seconds and the average length is 40 yards, so that gave coaches a good barometer of who could and couldn't cover punts. So unless you plan on your DE covering punts, than yes, it is kind of pointless.

bigbluedefense
07-08-2010, 06:41 PM
Everyone says that DEs don't run 40 yards, that may be true, but they do run at least 20.

How many times have you seen a play get chased down by a dlinemen? Many times. They rush up the field, and then run after the ball carrier after the ball is thrown. They run plenty of yards.

Olinemen too. Run plays can extend all the way down the field. Guards pull all the time. 40 yard times are important.

Bucs_Rule
07-08-2010, 06:59 PM
Well, the original point of the 40 was to see if a player was fast enough to cover punts. The average punt's hangtime is around 4.5 seconds and the average length is 40 yards, so that gave coaches a good barometer of who could and couldn't cover punts. So unless you plan on your DE covering punts, than yes, it is kind of pointless.

I can just picture Ngata returning punts.

Casey Hampton is even more funny. Watching running to catch the ball, only to not get close and chasing as its bouncing all over the place. Finally diving to get it, misses it and opposing team score a TD.

Than 2 minutes later the same thing happens.

That is too funny.

wonderbredd24
07-08-2010, 07:40 PM
Same question comes up every year. If it didnt matter and coaches and scouts werent looking at it then they wouldnt be doing them

Regards,

Kickers and Punters

LonghornsLegend
07-08-2010, 07:54 PM
40 times matter for every position. It's not as important but still important.

Exactly. Every single drill you do at the combine is important, some more then others depending on positions. The average person just wants to give too much credit for 40 times, and sometimes not enough.


Scouts take every drill they do into consideration, and use them to find out as much info as they can on a prospect. DE's may not run 40 yards very often, but it does show their acceleration(since they time the splits, but the average fan or media doesn't really pay attention to that) and does give you some insight to their conditioning also.


If your paying a guy millions of dollars, you want to know as much info about him as possible, and you combine everything together and come up with a grade for him.

bce
07-08-2010, 09:51 PM
The 40 shows a requisite level of nfl level athletic ability. Its important that a certain level of athletic ability is shown. Its not the most important thing to be the fastest pass rusher in the 40.

J52
07-13-2010, 09:08 PM
A 40 yard dash has no direct correlation to any player in any sport besides sprinting. It decently accurately reflects a players general ability to move. Most of the time, a player with a faster 40 will also be faster off the line of scrimmage etc.

FUNBUNCHER
07-14-2010, 09:21 AM
There are better tests for DEs than the 40.

AntoinCD
07-14-2010, 09:32 AM
As was mentioned above 40 times may not have any direct relevance to how someone can play DE however as with other drills at the combine it has some sort of meaning.

The fact that the 10, 20 sec splits are timed also has a relevance. The burst off the line is extremely important for defensive linemen. And as was also mentioned it shows a level of conditioning too.

Mike Mayock always says he loves the bench press as it shows how much time players spent in the weight room. Benching 225 has very little to do whether or not you can play football but has a relevance that can be measured. No coach is going to say 'Oh my God he can bench 225lbs 45 times he must be a HoFer.' But it does show a level of commitment.