Writers of Pro Football Prospectus 2008

25 Feb 2014

ESPN: Speed Scores 2014

Somehow, we ended up with a number of likely UDFA running backs on top of this year's Speed Scores, led by Damien Williams of Oklahoma. There will be a Matt Waldman column soon on the four top Speed Score guys and their strengths and weaknesses. Meanwhile, top prospect Ka'Deem Carey of Arizona had a Speed Score of 84.8, which would be the lowest ever for a player chosen in the first three rounds of the draft who wasn't immediately moved to wide receiver. (Hi, Dexter McCluster.)

Posted by: Aaron Schatz on 25 Feb 2014

13 comments, Last at 08 Mar 2014, 1:39pm by MC2


by Chip :: Tue, 02/25/2014 - 7:13pm

The year the RB position died in the NFL draft?

by Leyoz :: Tue, 02/25/2014 - 8:43pm

The colts will probably trade up from their first pick in the second to take one.

by pablohoney :: Tue, 02/25/2014 - 9:53pm

I don't understand why 40 times are seemingly given so much weight. I'm still scratching my head as to how Tyler Gaffney ran a faster 40 than De'Anthony Thomas. Either the sample size is too small, or Gaffney has better track technique, or maybe running without pads is distorting the times, but no way in the world is Gaffney faster on the football field than Thomas.

by tuluse :: Tue, 02/25/2014 - 10:54pm

Because 40 times correlate highly with how effective running backs are in the NFL.

by nath :: Wed, 02/26/2014 - 12:30pm

They do?

I did some speed score calculations for my blog for this year's prospects, and then I went back a few years and found little to no correlation between Speed Score and NFL performance.

by tuluse :: Wed, 02/26/2014 - 12:36pm

Well I said 40 times, not speed score. However, I'm pretty sure speed score correlates with NFL performance too. Link to your blog post?

by NWebster :: Wed, 02/26/2014 - 10:01am

What was Jadaveon Clowney's speed score?

by tammer.raouf :: Wed, 02/26/2014 - 12:19pm

He weighed 266 and ran a 4.53, so his speed score would be (266*200)/4.53^4 =126.3. Goddamn. If you use his unofficial time of 4.47, his score jumps to 133.3. I wonder where that ranks on the all-time list.

by tammer.raouf :: Wed, 02/26/2014 - 12:23pm

Seems like the current record belongs to Auburn's Mario Fannin at 125.5, which he posted at the 2011 combine. That makes Jadeveon Clowney the most exciting running back prospect we've ever seen.

by codesherpa :: Fri, 02/28/2014 - 8:26pm

I'm pretty sure Bo Jackson's Speed Score is going to the one to beat. At 230 lbs and running a 4.12*, his speed score would be 159.7!

Then again, if I recall correctly, this time was taken before electronic time keeping and there has been some that say it should be slightly higher.

by sn0mm1s :: Tue, 03/04/2014 - 3:46am

Much more than slightly. If guys in the NFL that have run sub 10 second 100m can't break 4.1 (sub 10 second would be world record territory when Bo played) there is no way Bo ever came close.

by MC2 :: Sat, 03/08/2014 - 1:39pm

Even if it was much higher, say 4.30, that would still be a 134.6, which blows away anybody since.

by FrontRunningPhinsFan :: Wed, 02/26/2014 - 1:31pm

It'll be interesting to see Clowney's SACK Seer score. His combine measureables are basically the same (though slightly better) as Jevon Kearse coming out of college.