27 Feb 2010
Bruce Campbell (who, admittedly, has an awesome name) just blew up Twitter. Media members and even agent Drew Rosenhaus are all talking about Campbell, a 311-pound tackle from Maryland, because he just ran a 4.77 40-yard dash. (That's the best 40-yard dash time in the history of the Combine for an offensive lineman, apparently; our data only goes back to 1999, and while it's the fastest time ever through that timeframe, I'm guessing smaller offensive linemen outran Campbell.)
Either way, Rosenhaus says this locks Campbell in the top ten of the upcoming NFL Draft, even though Todd McShay had him at 23rd in his last mock draft. Should that be the case?
Not really. Campbell's already run a 4.79 in spring practice, and while doing it on the turf in Indy means a lot more than doing it on a friendly field on campus, there's not much of a relationship between 40 time and any metric of offensive line success at the pro level.
And what have the owners of previous great 40 times done? Limiting our pool to tackles that actually made it to the NFL and ran in under five seconds at the Combine, it's a mix of booms and busts.
Guards with great 40 times include Chris Chester, Richie Incognito, and Evan Mathis, none of whom have covered themselves in glory professionally.
Rosenhaus might be screaming out comparisons to Thomas or even Winston or Bushrod for the next few weeks, but there's also the possibility that he's more like Barnes or Gallery. In the end, we strongly doubt that running a good 40-yard dash at the Combine tells us much of anything about Bruce Campbell's future in the pros, good or bad.
72 comments, Last at 02 Mar 2010, 2:29am by Dave0
In this week's Varsity Numbers, Bill Connelly revisits some measures and concepts: Adjusted Scores, Covariance, and momentum (or whatever you choose to call it).