2014 NFL combine: Cooks, Beckham, Bryant among sub-4.35 WRs

By Rob Rang | The Sports Xchange/CBSSports.com

Oregon State's Brandin Cooks tied Pittsburgh State's John Brown for best 40 time as of Sunday afternoon. (USATSI)
Oregon State's Brandin Cooks tied Pittsburgh State's John Brown for best 40 time as of Sunday afternoon. (USATSI)

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Blinding speed was on display Sunday morning as the wide receivers ran the 40-yard dash. Several highly regarded wideouts were among the fastest tested. Interestingly enough, there were a few sleepers proving equally explosive, as well.

Because of the large number of players at the position, the receivers were split into two groups, with the second group running a bit later Sunday.

Among the first group, Oregon State's Brandin Cooks tied with Pittsburgh State's John Brown as the fastest player yet tested at this year's combine, clocking in at an unofficial 4.30 seconds in the workout's premier event.

LSU's Odell Beckham and South Carolina's Bruce Ellington were just a hundredth of a second behind them at 4.31 seconds.

Each player translates their track speed onto the football field well, which means that the extraordinary times aren't necessarily going to push their stock. Receivers who could see a bump in their stock due to demonstrating remarkable speed to go along with size could be Clemson's Martavis Bryant (6-feet-4, 211 pounds) and Texas A&M's Mike Evans (6-foot-5, 237), who clocked in at 4.34 and 4.47 seconds, respectively.

Wisconsin wideout Jared Abbrederis also posted a fast time of 4.47 seconds. Abbrederis is the most polished route-runner of the players listed here and has been unfairly characterized by some as a technician, rather than a top-notch athlete. The speed demonstrated Sunday provides some quantitative evidence of the athleticism Abbrederis possesses.

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