Representatives from an estimated 25 NFL teams saw Oregon State junior running back Jacquizz Rodgers slice his time in the 40-yard dash from an electronically timed 4.74 at the Combine to 4.47, according to the university's offical website .
The vastly improved time in the 40-yard dash should help ease concerns about Rodgers' speed. While scouts knew the dimunitive (5-6, 196 pound) Rodgers was not a traditional speed back, teams would be hesistant to draft a short back lacking enough burst to run away from most defensive linemen. Like with Alabama's Mark Ingram, savvy scouts knew not to be too worried about Rodgers' timed speed, however.
Despite his Combine times, Rodgers' balance, vision and surprising power helped him generate All Pac-10 after each of his three seasons for the Beavers. His lateral agility and quick acceleration make him more elusive than his marginal speed might indicate.
Rodgers didn't just boost his stock with his speed. He also measured in taller today at Oregon State's Pro Day. In fact, according to the team's report, Rodgers was initially measured in at 5-07 Friday. A re-measure put him at 5066 or 5-6 and 3/4." Rodgers had been "officially" measured at 5057 (an eighth of an inch under 5-06") in Indianapolis.
Rodgers is NFLDraftScout.com's No. 11 rated running back and viewed as a potential mid-round pick.
Rodgers wasn't the only Beaver to boost his Combine performance Friday.
Center Alex Linnenkohl, rated No. 8 at the position by NFLDraftScout.com improved his bench repetitions of 225 pounds from 24 at the Combine to 31 today, according to Aaron Fentress of the Oregonian .
Oregon State's other highly touted prospect -- defensive tackle Stephen Paea -- remains unable to fully workout for scouts after it was discovered at the Senior Bowl that he'd torn the meniscus in his right knee. This injury kept him from performing in all but Monday's initial practice in Mobile and unable to do most of the workout at the Combine. Of course, the one drill that the two-time Morris Trophy winner was able to compete in was the bench press -- where he shattered the Combine record with a jaw-dropping 49 repetitions of 225 pounds. Sources close to Paea claim that the 49 reps was no surprise. He'd been shooting for 50.
Paea, according to the website's report, is expected to workout for scouts in Corvalis later this month.