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The fastest NFL Combine ever created a new class of sonic boom or bust prospects


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The slowest players at each position aren’t virtues to idolize, but there’s solid middle ground in there. Even at skill positions like receiver, the 40 is smoke and mirrors. Cooper Kupp, arguably the NFL’s actual MVP, if you factor in the regular season and playoffs, ran a 4.62 at the combine. Tyquan Thornton launched the Combine track meet weekend with a reported 4.21 40, which was corrected to 4.28.

Here are how the other top 10 leaders in receiving yardage last year fared in their respective 40-yard-dashes.

Tyreek Hill: 4.28

Davante Adams: 4.56

Justin Jefferson: 4.43

Diontae Johnson: 4.53

Tyler Lockett: 4.46

Deebo Samuel: 4.48

Ja’Marr Chase: 4.48’

DJ Moore: 4.42

Stefon Diggs: 4.46

The only receivers who ran faster than 4.4 were Tyreek Hill. Baylor’s 6-foot-3 receiver Tyquan Thornton blazed a 4.28, which was initially reported as a combine record 4.21. A receiver with that height is the combine equivalent of Usain Bolt. After his 15 minutes are over, Thornton projects a developmental project that resembles Browns receiver, Anthony Schwartz. Ultimately, Schwartz’s 4.27 at last year’s combine wasn’t enough for him to earn more than a handful of targets and 135 total yards.

Calvin Austin, Velus Jones Jr., Danny Gray, Nick Cross, Christian Watson, Garrett Wilson, and Chris Olave smashed the 4.4 barrier this year. Interestingly, the three slowest of that group, Olave, Wilson, and Watson, are the highest-projected prospects.

VERDICT: MIRAGE

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