NFL Scouting Combine: Do 40-Yard Dash Times Really Forecast NFL Speed?

February 23, 2013   ·     ·   Jump to comments

Every February, NFL draft analysts rant and rave about the NFL Scouting Combine. At the center of the combine is, of course, the 40-yard dash.
Along with the people freaking out about 40 times, there are many who claim the event doesn't say anything about actual speed. What does someone running on a track have to do with how they play in pads on a football field?
Which of these two groups is right? Is the 40-yard dash an indicator of football speed or another example of NFL teams overrating a meaningless event?
Well, like most statistics, the answer lies somewhere between the two extremes. The 40-yard dash isn't the almighty, always accurate indicator of speed many wish it was. It isn't worthless either.
When thinking of the fastest players in the NFL, Mike Wallace and Chris Johnson are two of the first names that will come to mind. Wallace ran a 4.28 at the combine, and Johnson holds the all-time record at 4.24 seconds.
Other stars such as Calvin Johnson, Vern...

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