Measurables, strength, jumping, and shuffling are tested at the NFL combine, but with running backs and wide receivers working out Sunday, speed was the name of the game. This year's crop of prospects did not disappoint, putting some incredible forty yard dash times on the clock. With the continued offensive movement in the league, several potential draft picks saw their stock rise as fast as their times.
Seven speedsters ran sub 4.4 second forty yard dashes. Texas wide receiver Marquise Goodwin posted a blazing 4.27 time, just short of Tennessee Titans running back Chris Johnson's 4.24 record. West Virginia wide receiver Tavon Austin, who already has the versatility, added a 4.34 forty yard dash time to his repertoire. Austin is projected as a first round selection with no chance of lasting deep into the second round. Goodwin could increase his value into the early second day range.
The Oakland Raiders have a decision to make on wide receiver Darrius Heyward-Bey, who is set to eat over 10 million dollars in cap space for 2013. They will either release the former first round pick or restructure his deal. Heyward-Bey saw his draft stock soar after his 4.3 second forty yard dash at the 2009 NFL combine. He has yet to translate that speed effectively on a regular basis, but remains a contributing member of Oakland's receiving corps.
Because the Raiders drafted Juror Criner last season and signed Rod Streater as an undrafted free agent, it would seem they Raiders are set at the position. They still have Denarius Moore and with or without Heyward-Bey, the promise showed by the rookies, Criner and especially Streater, was encouraging. With several other needs to fill, Oakland doesn't appear to be in the market to add another wide receiver in the draft. They do not have a second or fifth round selection presently, which makes it even more apparent the team will use the picks to fill other needs. General manager Reggie McKenzie and head coach Dennis Allen abide by the philosophy of drafting the best player available. Therefore, if someone impressed them in workouts today and are available later in the draft, the Raiders could add a playmaker.
Other wide receivers and running backs who impressed Sunday were Auburn running back Onterio McCalebb posting a 4.34 forty time along with Texas A&M wideout Ryan Swope. Arkansas running back Knile Davis blistered a 4.37 time and bench pressed 225 pounds 31 times. TCU wide receiver Josh Boyce and Oklahoma's Kenny Stiles rounded out the sub 4.4 runners with 4.38 times. Wake Forest running back Tommy Bohanon bench pressed 225 pounds 36 times. Texas A&M's Christine Michael jumped 43 inches in the vertical jump.
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