The (Un)Need for Speed

March 2, 2010   ·     ·   Jump to comments

The 40-yard dash is the most overrated test in sports. There, I said it. I don’t care how fast a player can run, because in the end, all that speed means nothing if the player can’t digest an NFL playbook, won’t commit himself to getting better in the offseason, or can’t do a multitude of other things that being in the NFL requires a player to do.
Don’t get me wrong. All things equal, I’ll take a 4.4 40-yard dash guy over a 4.7 40-yard dash guy. But my point is the media hypes the Combine’s 40-yard dash likes it’s a be-all end-all. Countless players have overcome poor measurables and have had illustrious careers, and plenty of players have produced freak-like numbers at the Combine and had their careers fizzle into oblivion.
Perhaps the best example of how trivial a 40-yard dash is lies with the undisputed best wide receiver in NFL history, Jerry Rice, who reportedly ran a 4.71 40-yard dash. Had he ran that time in this day and age at the NFL C...

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