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Does 40 time matter for DEs?

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  • Does 40 time matter for DEs?

    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.

  • #2
    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.

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    • #3
      40 times matter for every position. It's not as important but still important.

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      • #4
        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.

        Props to clover_jeez!

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        • #5
          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.

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          • #6
            Originally posted by tjsunstein View Post
            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.

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            • #7
              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.

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              • #8
                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.

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                • #9
                  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.
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                  • #10
                    The 10, 20, and the 3 cone.

                    The 40 is worth very little

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                    • #11
                      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.

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                      • #12
                        Mount Cody proves that the 40 for a DT is worth next to nothing

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                        • #13
                          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.

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                          • #14
                            Originally posted by BaLLiN View Post
                            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.

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                            • #15
                              Same question comes up every year. If it didnt matter and coaches and scouts werent looking at it then they wouldnt be doing them


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