Georgia Tech receiver Stephen Hill turned heads with his forty time at the Combine on Sunday.
Robert Griffin III was not the only player to burn up the track in Indianapolis on Sunday. Wide receivers ran, most of them, after the quarterbacks, and the results were very good for Notre Dame's Michael Floyd and a few others.
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Forty times are just one small piece of the bigger picture when it comes to evaluating prospects, but straight line speed is still a question those players had to answer. Sunday's results will change the conversation for a St. Louis Rams team looking for help at wide receiver.
With Justin Blackmon and Alshon Jeffery sitting out this week, Floyd had fewer interruptions as he tried to make his case to be a top-20 pick in the draft. He took full advantage, running a 4.2 forty in his first attempt. Floyd stands 6' 2.5" and weighs 220 lbs. Interviews and the tape will be essential for Floyd, but he is arguably the most complete wide receiver in the draft at this point, with his hands, route running and ability to get yards after the catch.
Another receiver turning heads was Georgia Tech's Stephen Hill. All he did was run a 4.30 forty, likely awakening the ghost of Al Davis.
Hill's speed is somehow entirely appropriate for a receiver most experts feel is a very raw prospect. It is an impressive number for a man who stands 6' 4" and weighs 215 lbs. His size and speed will get him plenty of NFL attention; however, teams will find little to look at on his college tape. Hill caught just 49 passes in THREE YEARS as part of Tech's option offense. His hands have been questioned and his route running is almost nonexistent. Nevertheless, many will be looking at the late-blooming Demaryius Thomas, another Tech receiver, as a point of comparison, perhaps even Calvin Johnson, also a Tech product.
Hill acknowledged that teams had asked him about his speed in interviews prior to Sunday's events.
"Every one of them did ask what I was going to run in the 40," Hill said. "I guess they just want to see what kind of speed I have."
Asked by the media about his forty time, Hill said, "You know, I've been clocked in the low 4's, 4.4's. I'm thinking about running a 4.3 but, you know, whatever happens on Sunday happens."
Prescient is not among the list of draft measurables. Perhaps it should be.
On the flip side of forty times was Arkansas' Joe Adams. Expected to be among the 4.3 crowd, he turned in a concrete block time of 4.53 seconds. The tape on Adams shows an explosive player, a Dexter McCluster type. Also worth noting is that McCluster ran a 4.58 forty at the 2010 Combine.