The running backs at the 2014 NFL Combine boasted the fastest time of the year, which was also one of the fastest of all-time. As a group, however, they were less than stellar, with only ten guys running under 4.5 (a stark contrast from the receivers).
|1. Dri Archer||Kent St.||4.26|
|2. Jerick McKinnon||Georgia Southern||4.41|
|3. Henry Josey||Missouri||4.43|
|4. Damien Williams||Oklahoma||4.45|
|5. LaDarius Perkins||Mississippi St.||4.46|
|6. Charles Sims||West Virginia||4.48|
|7. Tim Cornett||UNLV||4.48|
|8. George Atkinson||Notre Dame||4.48|
|9. Bishop Sankey||Washington||4.49|
|10. Tyler Gaffney||Stanford||4.49|
2014 NFL Combine - RB Takeaways
Only one of Mike Mayock's top 5 running backs ran a decent 40 time at the 2014 NFL Combine - Bishop Sankey. Tre Mason came close, running a 4.5, but the others were all slower. Despite the negative connotation, the other three guys (Carlos Hyde, Jeremy Hill and Andre Williams) won't need fast times to prove their NFL value. All are seen as "bruisers", or big backs that can move the line of scrimmage and don't have to rely on their speed to create opportunities.
Top backs at the 2014 NFL Combine hope to take after Eddie Lacy next year.
Eddie Lacy seems to have paved the way for these backs, having run approximately 4.6 at his pro day last year (he didn't run at the combine due to a hamstring injury). Hyde, Hill and Williams all weight in over 220 pounds (as did Lacy), and fit his mold as a dominant runner in college that was hard to take down on the first attempt. However, while these backs may be poised to shoulder the load, that does not mean they will be drafted high. Keeping with Lacy as the example, he was the third running back taken behind Giovani Bernard and Montee Ball, and dropped all the way to the end of the second round.
Archer and McKinnon have helped themselves greatly by excelling in other drills as well. In fact, McKinnon may have won the 2014 NFL combine with his performance, placing high in six events (40 yd dash, bench press, vertical jump, broad jump, 3 cone drill and 20 yd shuttle). His original projection by NFL.com as a seventh-round pick will have to be revisited after his pro day.