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pakowitz 03-13-2004 10:37 AM

Straightline speed not always a good measure
During four seasons at the University of Alabama, wide receiver Triandos Luke totaled 90 catches, 1,072 yards and nine touchdowns. But in one afternoon at the RCA Dome in Indianapolis last month, he was clocked in the 40-yard dash at 4.30 seconds, the fastest time for any of the three dozen wide receiver prospects who participated in the event.

That lightning-fast time, along with a 38-inch vertical jump and solid performances in all of the athletic ability drills, certainly commanded the attention of NFL scouts. It probably moved Luke's draft stock up a round in the lottery. Maybe even a couple of rounds. What it didn't do, however, is catapult the former Crimson Tide star into the first-round.

Not even close.

On the other hand, Southern California wide receiver Mike Williams, the most notable underclassman to take advantage of the NFL's hastily revisited draft eligibility rules after the Maurice Clarett case, is rumored to cover 40 yards in only about 4.55 seconds. Maybe even 4.6 according to some scouts who have seen him play. But Williams rang up better statistics in '03 alone -- 95 catches, 1,314 yards, 16 touchdowns -- than Luke had for his entire career.

And make no mistake, the wondrously gifted Williams will go off the board early in the first round, probably among the top 10 selections overall.

So this question: What really is the difference between a 40-yard time of, say, 4.4 seconds and of 4.6 seconds? Not surprisingly, as in nearly all elements draft-related, the answer is a fairly subjective one. And certainly far more complicated than just attempting to mathematically discern the real-world gap between people running at those speeds.

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pakowitz 03-13-2004 10:44 AM

Straightline speed not always a good measure
in a previous espn report, winners and losers of the nfl combine, this was stated about michael clayton of LSU

Showing some slippage

WR Michael Clayton (LSU): After we rated Anquan Boldin among the combine\'s most disappointing performers in 2003, and then the Arizona Cardinals second-rounder earned rookie of the year honors, we\'re a tad wary about including any wide receivers in this category. But at the \'04 draft\'s deepest position, the order is going to be reshuffled several times before April 24. Having run a pedestrian 4.62 time in the 40, Clayton is going to have to have some solid individual workouts on campus.

lsusurfer 03-13-2004 04:27 PM

Straightline speed not always a good measure
Anyone who thinks Michael Clayton isn\'t going to be a star in the NFL i s got to be crazy. He is one of the best receivers I have seen play, especially all around. He can block, catch, run, and score! But I hope he does drop to the second round so New Orleans can take him, although they won\'t do anything intelligent like that.

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