I spent three month training because that the NFL combine alongside future NFL breeze picks choose Peyton Hillis, Craig Stevens the the Tennessee Titans, and Geoff Schwartz of the Kansas City Chiefs in 2008 and I learned whatever a non-athlete can possibly know around the forty.

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Now that the NFL combine is here and also everyone is glued to the NFL Network watching the incorporate on television, I constantly think it’s precious bringing some truth to all the couch warriors the end there who think they might break a 5.0 in the forty.

Newsflash — friend can’t.

Not also close.

I’ve operation this post multiple years, however it’s constantly worth pass a dose of reality — and also humility — to the masses as soon as the NFL combine rolls around.

But first, here’s Jadeveon Clowney, that clocked two unofficial forty times under 4.5, dusting Johnny Manziel.


Here’s Jadeveon Clowney dusting Johnny Manziel in the forty.

The forty is the solitary most important measurement in American sporting activities today and there isn’t a near second. Existing players recognize it, fans understand it, and also would-be draftees know it. I’ve watched future NFL players revolve from making fun of one another to expression of dig seriousness in much less than a second when they realize they’re around to run a time forty. There’s something around staring under that expanse the eight five-yard intervals that gives also the best athletes now pause. The fourty is equal parts silent explosion, weighty lightness and organized anarchy. Basically if Charles Dickens were composing today, he’d incorporate it in the opened to “A story of two Cities” since in its few seconds’ wake up lies the totality that gridiron life.

Each year the forty becomes much more important and an ext widely discussed. Partly that’s due to the fact that the net has enabled the NFL breeze to become an actual sport in and also of itself yet it’s additionally because there’s something around these raw dimensions of athleticism that speak to united state in a way that baseball projections or basketball projections don’t. If you’re a fan of baseball, you might know how hard a pitcher your team drafts can throw. What else do you know around the draftee in terms of raw athleticism? You can know his high college stats or his college stats, yet how fast is he, how solid is he? this numbers might be out there but they don’t capture us choose the numbers in football do. It’s the same with basketball– the NBA has actually its very own combine however other than an sometimes vertical run what execute you hear of this results? fixed anything. But the NFL Combine? we all hear just how players execute at the NFL Combine.

And what measure skill execute we hear about more than any other? The forty.

I’d controversy this is because of every the NFL skill tests anyone have the right to attempt the forty. Even if many of us never actually try it. There’s a simplicity come the fourty that appeals to us. Most human being can’t benchpress 225 pounds even once. It’s tough to approximate what make a catch and also getting struggle in an NFL video game actually feeling like. The 3 cone drill? 99% the football fans couldn’t even collection up the 3 cones correctly. The agree shuttle? exact same thing. But the forty, we recognize the forty.

Yet because that a measure that us all care about there’s a striking absence of understanding out there about the forty itself. That’s how you and I regulate to have an exceptionally overinflated sense of what we would run in the forty. Everyone thinks they’re quicker thant they actually are. My friend, and also stellar Atlanta attorney, john Ducat refuse to think he wouldn’t rest a 5.0 in the forty. Also going therefore far regarding say, “I would bet my house that I can run a below 5.0 forty. I’m no slow.” i told him then that if I embraced his bet his wife would certainly arrive house to find me sitting in the life room v my feet propped up on their ottoman with the deed to their house. I m sorry wouldn’t do her very happy.

Fans are entirely unrealistic about their speed. But if friend think you deserve to run a below 5.0 forty, here’s a fairly easy test, deserve to you dunk a basketball in ~ a height of 6 feet or under? (Note, this doesn’t mean, “touch the rim,” it way dunk. If girlfriend can’t dunk, the odds that you running a below 5.0 forty room pretty lot zero. It calls for the very same kind of fast-twitch muscles.)

We rarely see any kind of football player voluntarily admit to running over a 5.0 forty because doing so way they’re slow. Speed is king. Many football players would sooner recognize that they have actually herpes than admit that they run exterior the 4’s. Therefore fans have actually come to think they have to run in the 4’s too. You’re wrong, you don’t. A 5.0 fourty time is actually quick for your typical guy. I’ll placed it come you this way, if you wanted to do a second career the end of betting men at bars the they couldn’t rest a 5.0 forty you could come to be a fourty hustler. You roll right into the bar, challenge them, have actually an official timekeeper and also then collect your money. To trust me, break a 5.0 in the forty means you’re an extremely fast.

To prove this truth we collection up a forty difficulty with ours 3HL radio show here in Nashville. Dozens proved up to be timed.

One guy damaged a 5.0.


And he was a former college baseball player who was the fastest male on his team.

Every single person assumed they to be going to break a 5.0 forty.

Many didn’t even break a 6.0.

That’s just one of plenty of things I’ve learned around the forty while maintain alongside some of the top college athletes in America because that the NFL Combine.

Here space 11 various other things:

1. Every kid in high school has actually an inflated forty time. Every single one. Every coach steals time for their kids and also it’s constantly to the youngsters advantage.

I read about this in Bruce Feldman’s “Meat Market” where every college coach insisted on timing kids at your football camps to guarantee accuracy due to the fact that they didn’t trust the provided times. This has actually been reiterated for me a thousand-fold since. According to the head trainer because that the NFL combine at D1 Sports, kurt Hester, “High institution coaches room liars. They call a child he runs a 4.5 and the kid believes them due to the fact that they’re the coach. Climate they present up at a camp and also we get them and they’re barely break a 5.0. These kids may look prefer they’re running a 4.5 ~ above tape but it’s because the other men they’re playing against are to run 5.5’s.”

Lots of high school football departments don’t have actually a single kid who deserve to run a legit 4.5.

Some states don’t have any.

2. Stealing time in the forty with a stopwatch is easy.

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Start a stopwatch just a portion of a second after the start and also finish it simply a portion of a second before a son truly reaches the complete line and you have the right to manipulate a couple of one per 10 of a second on either side of a forty. That can not sound prefer much but it’s huge. The difference in between a legit 4.5 and also a legit 5.0 is seismic. V a stopwatch it have the right to seem infinitesimal.