The NFL Combine is underway, and an off-the-chart performance is a fast way for a prospect to boost his stock. There's more to success in the NFL than being a workout wonder (which might be the origin of the expression "Look like Tarzan, play like Jane") but showing off superior strength and speed never hurts.
Here are some of the best combine displays by offensive players:
2005. Nicknamed "The Freak" after his combine performance, Jones, a quarterback at Arkansas, was deemed capable of playing nearly any position on the field because of his athleticism. He ran a 4.37 40-yard dash at 6-6, 237 pounds and jumped almost 40 inches on his vertical. The combine performance earned him a first-round spot as a wide receiver in Jacksonville before substance abuse derailed his career.
2009. The Maryland wideout was expected to be a fringe first-round talent, but Oakland's Al Davis coveted Heyward-Bey after his 40-yard dash times, which were timed between 4.25 and 4.3. He also ran an impressively fast 4.18-second shuttle run and skyrocketed to the No. 7 pick, where the Raiders gladly took the speed demon they were looking for. Heyward-Bey has yet to make much of a splash in the NFL.
2010. Campbell came to Indianapolis at 6-6 and 314 pounds, but still ran an incredible 4.85 40-yard dash, one of the fastest times of any offensive line ever at the combine. He put 34 reps at 225 pounds on the bench press and earned nicknames like "Adonis" from scouts and reporters. NFL Network's Mike Mayock called him "the best looking lineman prospect" he had ever seen. Campbell was taken by, who else, the Raiders in the fourth round.
2008. A little-known running back out of East Carolina, the 186-pound Johnson ran a mind-blowing 4.24 in the 40-yard dash -- tied for the fastest time since electronic timers were used at the event. He also jumped almost 11 feet in the broad jump and blasted up draft boards, becoming the 24th overall pick to the Titans, after being projected as a fringe second-rounder. That speed turned into a 2,000-yard rushing season in 2009, so the risk clearly worked out in Tennessee's favor.
2006. Davis was the consensus top-rated tight end in the 2006 draft, and his performance at the combine is the best ever at his position, without a doubt. Davis registered a blazing 4.38 40-yard dash, jumped a 42-inch vertical and a foot farther than any other tight end in the broad jump, and put up 33 repetitions at 225 pounds. That combination of numbers was unheard of at the combine, and as a result, Davis was drafted sixth overall by the 49ers.
1986. Jackson had concerned some scouts with his possible baseball career, but his 40-yard dash time was enough for NFL teams to forget all about that. Although his sprint was hand-timed, it's believed that Jackson ran the fastest 40-yard dash in the history of the NFL scouting combine, registering a verifiable 4.12. That was enough for him to be drafted No. 1 overall, but Tampa Bay never got a chance to sign him, as he chose baseball before being reentered the draft in 1987 when the Raiders took him in the seventh round.
-- Also Check Out: Top Combine Performances By Defensive Players
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