INDIANAPOLIS —- The most-anticipated numbers of the NFL's annual scouting combine are in.
No combine drill generates more buzz than the 40-yard dash, especially when it comes to the wide receivers. The running backs are sprinting on the field at Lucas Oil Stadium as I type this and the cornerbacks run tomorrow. But wide receivers! Flash! Flamboyance! This gets everyone's attention.
That includes the Vikings, who have a need at wide receiver and might even select one 11th overall.
The top three receiver prospects in this class all helped themselves today by running the 40-yard dash in under 4.5 seconds. West Virginia’s Kevin White ran a blazing 4.35 at 6-foot-3 and 215 pounds. Alabama’s Amari Cooper ran a 4.42. And Louisville’s DeVante Parker clocked in at 4.45.
My knee-jerk reaction: It's safe to say Cooper and White will be long gone by the Vikings' first pick.
Other noteworthy 40 times include Missouri’s Dorial Green-Beckham, who looked like a stud while running it in 4.49 seconds at 6-foot-5. And Michigan’s Devin Funchess was a dud, ranking dead last among the receivers at 4.70 seconds. That reinforces the notion that Funchess will be considered a move tight end and not a wide-out, though Jimmy Graham is proof that a job title can be irrelevant.
Unofficially, 20 wide receivers ran the 40-yard dash in under 4.5 seconds today. So there's a lot of speed in this draft. Here are the top 10 times at the position, led by one of the best in recent history.
1. J.J. Nelson, UAB, 4.29 seconds
2. Phillip Dorsett, Miami, 4.33
3(t). Chris Conley, Georgia, 4.35
3(t). Tyler Lockett, Kansas State, 4.35
3(t). Kevin White, West Virginia, 4.35
6. Kenny Bell, Nebraska, 4.40
7. Tre McBride, William & Mary, 4.41
8(t). Amari Cooper, Alabama, 4.42
8(t). Devin Smith, Ohio State, 4.42
10(t). Mario Alford, West Virginia, 4.43
10(t). Sammie Coates, Auburn, 4.43