One scout spoke bluntly about the rash of blazing 40-yard dash times at the NFL's scouting combine this past weekend.
"This was one of the most unbelievable combines I've ever been around," said the scout, with more than a decade of experience. "I would guess that most people in the league have rarely seen anything like it."
It's the elite athletes vs. the combine and the combine is getting its ass kicked.
This is happening specifically with the speed of the players and the testing in the 40-yard dash. Across the board, at almost every position, players were breaking the sound barrier.
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It got so remarkable that current NFL players started tweeting about the blazing times.
There are numerous examples of the fast speeds, but one of the better ones is Arkansas -Pine Bluff's Terron Armstead, who beat previous combine 40-yard dash record holder Allen Barbre's mark. Armstead is 6-5, 306 pounds and ran the 40 in 4.65 seconds. Think about that for a moment.
Another player also broke Barbre's mark. Oklahoma offensive tackle Lane Johnson, ran a 4.75. He's a former quarterback that now weighs 303 pounds. Good God.
Connecticut defensive end Trevardo Williams is 6-1 and weighs 241 pounds and ran the fastest time for the defensive ends with a 4.57 40. Good God. Again.
The 40 is being turned into a joke.
It's not the individual times that are eye-popping. It's the cluster of them that's causing some in the sport to wonder what's going on and asking privately if players are making a mockery of certain parts of the combine.
Part of the answer to this question scouts have known for a long time. For the past two decades players have trained specifically for the combine and this allows them to post speedy 40 times.
What's different is that the training regimens are even more sophisticated. Add that to how players are getting increasingly athletic and powerful -- some due to the simple evolution of football players themselves, some due to the use of performance enhancing drugs -- and the 40-yard dash is slowly becoming irrelevant.
To be clear: This is not to say any of this year's 40 blazers are using PEDs, but the drug factor overall cannot be discounted. The NFL tests for PEDs at the combine, and in the past some have been caught. But theoretically a player could use PEDs in college, where testing is shamtastic, then stop doing so in the weeks and months ahead of the combine, and no one would ever know.
There is also the fact the new training regimens are becoming so sophisticated that they can turn almost any player into a blazer.
This isn't universal as Manti Te'o ran a pedestrian 4.8 in the 40 on Monday (pedestrian in these times of warp engine propelled runners), but overall the trend continues that players are absolutely obliterating the 40 and will continue to do so.
It's only a matter of time before we have someone run it in four seconds flat.