Troy wide receiver Jerrel Jernigan said he knew he was faster than the 4.46 40 time he recorded at the Scouting Combine on Sunday. Turns out, he was right.
NFLDraftScout.com's fifth-ranked wide receiver, Jernigan was clocked by handheld stopwatch in the low 4.3s at Troy's Pro Day on Friday with 17 teams in attendance.
The 5-9, 185-pound receiver has great explosiveness and straight line speed. His versatility -- 11 total touchdowns in 2010 -- will be considered an asset but he's not a naturally polished route-runner.
Because of his ability to shift gears and explode through traffic with a rare burst, he has been compared to Deion Branch of the Patriots but said he models his game after Eagles' receiver DeSean Jackson. Jackson, who is 5-foot-10, 175 pounds, was the 49th overall pick in the 2008 draft after clocking a 4.29 in the 40 at his pro day. He ran a 4.35 at the scouting combine.
An ideal slot receiver for many teams, Jernigan's vertical (37.5 inches at the scouting combine and 38 inches at Friday's workout) was slightly better than Jackson (37 inches) posted at the '08 combine.
NFLDraftScout.com ranks Jernigan as the No. 48 overall prospect. Branch (5-9, 195) was the 65th pick in the 2002 draft.
Jernigan fielded punts and ran a few routes for scouts on Friday. Level of competition shouldn't be a deal breaker as Jernigan was solid against top competition, but he admittedly saw very little press coverage and hasn't proven he can consistently get off the jam at the line of scrimmage.
He caught 10 passes for 87 yards and a touchdown at Oklahoma State and had six catches and a touchdown at South Carolina in 2010.
For his career, Jernigan caught 262 passes for 3,128 yards. A converted high school quarterback, Jernigan owns the conference record for receiving yards and touchdowns. He broke his own school record with 84 catches for 882 yards in 2010.