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View Full Version : Is the 40 yard dash the most important sprint?


Denver Bronco56
04-05-2011, 10:11 AM
Having done a little research and knowing that most plays that occur are rarely 40 yards... the 10 and 20 yard shuttles and cone drill seem to be more "NFL" type plays


and looking at some of the times below is kinda of suprising.

20 yard
4.17- Player A
4.17- Player B
4.18- Player C


Cone Drill
6.66- Player A
6.75- Player B
6.92 - Player C


The agility and "quickness" and Burst that these drill measure are more typical NFL plays rather than 40 yard sprints that analysts love to drool over

Player A - Tim Tebow
Player B - Jahvid Best
Player C - Cam Newton

My question is why is everyone SOO enticed with cam's athletic ability as a QB when minus his 40 yard dash he is pretty even with Tim Tebow and people said that tebow disapointed at the combine

Denver Bronco56
04-05-2011, 10:15 AM
and this isnt a thread about tebow being better or any of that...but when people critize Newton you get called racist... but all in all How is Cam in consideration for the #1 pick and in comparison to Tebow really isnt that much more impressive?

And even beyond Newton or Tebow... it appears to me at least with majority of plays not going 40 yards should we pay more attention to these quickness and agility tests than the 40?

AntoinCD
04-05-2011, 10:28 AM
Quite frankly for some positions I could care less about 40 yd dashes or 3 cone drills etc. If my QB can run a 4.3 and has crazy agility then excellent, but I still want him to be able to stand in the pocket, read defenses and make every throw.

Likewise I don't really care if my LG ran a 5.4 in the forty if he is a big mauling run blocker with good pass protection skills.

The combine and each drill is set to confirm what people see on film. If someone looks like a 4.5 guy but runs 4.3s you go back and watch the film to see what you are missing. Likewise if someone underperforms you go back to make sure their playing speed is what you thought it was.

The 40 dash and all other drills were not brought in to show a certain player is better than the other, but to add to evaluations.

Take Brandon Spikes for instance. His scouting reports stated very good instincts but not very athletic and not a sideline to sideline guy. He runs in the 5.0s but goes to a system that allows him to use his instincts and limit the amount of times he is matched against a RB, TE etc and he has a successful rookie campaign.

Denver Bronco56
04-05-2011, 10:38 AM
Yea i realize it is all position specific what is important...

But for instant a really good HB averages high 4-5's ypc a 40 isnt that big deal minus long runs... that if he had a great burst it would be more important i feel than saying he ran a 4.2 ... but ran a slow 20 or 10 sprint....

I guess what im saying is why do you hear about the "40" so much when it really isnt a good measure of football speed more so than just being able to run a straight line..

for instant doing a little research Champ Bailey, Deion Sanders, Tye Hill all were great in both the 40 and 10, 20, 3 cone etc... and that makes sence to mention all of those for a QB but how often does a running back break off a 40? for it to be a BIG factor to mention?


it just shocked me to see how fast tebow was in the drills that other players that are superb athelete.

Denver Bronco56
04-05-2011, 10:42 AM
people like cam's athletic ability because he can *also* throw the ball. tebow still hasn't demonstrated that he'll consistently be able to get the ball out in under 47 seconds. newton is a far more impressive passer in pretty much every way.

so, newton's athletic ability is icing on the cake for some people. tebow's was his sole selling point.

And not to make this up to be a debate about other than the 40 vs. 20 and cone..

but Cam has like 180 NCAA throws and looked lost in the proday... just saying that he can throw based on mechanics is like saying that Jimmy Clausen is the best passer in the NFL based on mechanics...

stephenson86
04-05-2011, 12:21 PM
I would use it to decide on who to draft for kick coverage...

Denver Bronco56
04-05-2011, 12:29 PM
I would use it to decide on who to draft for kick coverage...

Good point that is actually a good 40 yard sprint

stephenson86
04-05-2011, 12:33 PM
Good point that is actually a good 40 yard sprint

;) But in genuine seriousness I like the 40 yard dash as a way of determining how a players speed works, if you look at it in conjunction with the splits you can figure out whether they are explosive and maintain a good speed, whether they take time to get up to speed or whether they accelerate very fast and then slow. It is not good for all positions but it can give you a sort of profile of a player, kind of like a speed curve if you'd like?

For example Mark Ingram has a great initial burst to top speed but does not maintain his top speed that well, thus he appears to be a runner who won't break runs of 80 or so yards one a regular basis, more like 40-50 yards, whereas Chris Johnson gets up like lightning and stays there making him a 99 yard runner.

Iamcanadian
04-05-2011, 01:00 PM
Yea i realize it is all position specific what is important...

But for instant a really good HB averages high 4-5's ypc a 40 isnt that big deal minus long runs... that if he had a great burst it would be more important i feel than saying he ran a 4.2 ... but ran a slow 20 or 10 sprint....

I guess what im saying is why do you hear about the "40" so much when it really isnt a good measure of football speed more so than just being able to run a straight line..

for instant doing a little research Champ Bailey, Deion Sanders, Tye Hill all were great in both the 40 and 10, 20, 3 cone etc... and that makes sence to mention all of those for a QB but how often does a running back break off a 40? for it to be a BIG factor to mention?


it just shocked me to see how fast tebow was in the drills that other players that are superb athelete.

Most posters simply don't understand the 40 yard sprint and that is why they downgrade it. Of course the other drills are important, that is why they are measured at the combine too. However the 40 time is very important as well and that is why every scout, HC and GM personally time every prospect running it.
Anybody with any knowledge of track, knows it takes a certain type of athlete to be a successful short yardage runner and in track, 40 yards is an extremely short distance. To be a successful short yardage runner in track, you have to be a quick twitch athlete who is exceptionally quick off the mark and still have the strength to carry your lead over 40 yards.
So again, the 40 is extremely important to pro scouts, HC's and GM's for every position. Of course it is far more important at certain positions but don't underestimate it at any position.
Prospects are in reality being measured against those players who were successful in the NFL and the vast majority of them ran solid 40 times, only a few exceptions every decade succeeded without running a solid 40 for their position. Pro teams know this fact and aren't concerned with exceptions because they are simply too rare to worry about in the early rounds. So the fact remains that a prospect had better run a fast 40 for his position except QB, if he wants to see himself in round 1. QB's 40 times are looked at as a bonus but not a necessity for the position. Again by fast 40, I only mean that the prospect must show solid speed for the position he plays if he wants to see round 1. Each position has its own range of speeds which is used to judge players at that particular position.
Each position has a 40 time that is considered elite, solid, slow and unacceptable. So for instance a DT is an elite runner if he runs a sub 5.0 40 while a RB, WR and CB are only elite if they run a sub 4.40.
Is the 40, a measure of a prospects chances to be successful at the next level, absolutely not, it only means something if game film bares out his ability to use his speed on the football field and even then, he must also demonstrate a number of other attributes, speed alone won't make you a 1st rounder but if the other attributes are there, speed will guarantee you being a high pick and limit you if you don't have it.
In the end, if you believe the 40 is a useless, or just not an important piece of the puzzle, you are going against everybody associated with pro football which suggests you don't have a clue about judging prospects.

Caulibflower
04-05-2011, 05:08 PM
My question is why is everyone SOO enticed with cam's athletic ability as a QB when minus his 40 yard dash he is pretty even with Tim Tebow and people said that tebow disapointed at the combine

Tebow had a really good combine. Nobody expected him to run a 4.4. His agility tests, vert, etc. were all exceptional for the position. If he was testing as a fullback or tight end, people would've still been impressed with his athleticism. I'm not sure who you're thinking of when you say people were disappointed with his performance. He probably had a better combine than Newton.

Babylon
04-05-2011, 05:37 PM
Athletecism isnt Tebow's problem it's a slow release and the ability to make all the throws. My guess is with him it is what it is and it really isnt going to get any better. That may be the reason why they arent exactly sold on him there in Denver.

MichaelJordanEberle (sabf)
04-05-2011, 08:12 PM
Tebow's main problem is handling the insane levels of testosterone that his massive balls produce. Haters.

Cicero
04-09-2011, 04:15 AM
If I could only see one stat from the combine, it would be the 10 yard splits from the 40. It's relevant to every single position and having a great initial burst is much more important than being able to run a fast 40.

CJSchneider
04-09-2011, 08:14 AM
For the record, in regards to Tebow, define make all the throws? Because we need to make it clear there is perhaps a difference between make and take.
By the way, here are there college stat lines - the differences are well ...you be the judge.

http://sports.espn.go.com/ncf/player/profile?playerId=183484

http://sports.espn.go.com/ncf/player/profile?playerId=232016

D-Unit
04-09-2011, 05:15 PM
40 times would matter to me more if they tired out the players. I wanna see who still runs fast in the 4th quarter.