Originally posted on NESN.com  |  Last updated 2/24/13
1:23 p.m.: The running backs are coming up here shortly. Watch out for Kenjon Barner, Giovani Bernard and Joseph Randle. All of those guys should time very well. The wide receiver 3-cone times should be coming out soon too. If you’re looking for agility, that’s the figure coaches and scouts swoon over. 1:05 p.m.: Justin Hunter, Da’Rick Rogers, Marcus Davis, Mark Harrison, Ryan Swope, Cordarrelle Patterson and Markus Wheaton finished as the top wideouts in vertical jump. Hunter, Rogers, Marquise Goodwin, Josh Boyce and Harrison were the top broad jumpers. Hunter and Harrison were also both sub 4.5 40 guys. We don’t have 3-cone or 20-yard shuttle times yet. EJ Manuel and Geno Smith topped the vertical and broad jump for quarterbacks. 12:55 p.m.: Marquess Wilson is doing a nice job of making up for the mistake of quitting Washington State’s football team this year. He added some weight, ran a 4.51 40 and is looking good in positional drills. 12:34 p.m.: The following players ran sub 4.5 40s: Marquise Goodwin, Ryan Swope, Tavon Austin, Kenny Stills, Josh Boyce, Cordarrelle Patterson, Denard Robinson, Corey Fuller, Justin Hunter, Markus Wheaton, Lanear Sampson, Mark Harrison, Tavarres King and Ryan Spadola. Geno Smith ran a 4.59 40. 12:30 p.m.: The official 40 times are out. Tavon Austin ran a 4.34, Marquise Goodwin ran a 4.27, DeAndre Hopkins ran a 4.57, Cordarrelle Patterson ran a 4.42, Denard Robinson ran a 4.43, Kenny Stills ran a 4.38, Ryan Swope ran a 4.34, Markus Wheaton ran a 4.45 and Robert Woods ran a 4.51. 12:24 p.m.: Denard Robinson is looking a little lost so far in these drills. He has the right size to be a Chris Johnson-esque running back. It makes sense for him to work on his hands, but it my not be his best position in the pros. 12:16 p.m.: The player to watch in these drills is Denard Robinson. He’s likely been training to play wide receiver, and hopefully those two months of work pay off here. Ryan Swope has stood out today so far. These 40 times are astronomical for everyone, but Swope running a sub-4.4 is huge. He’s mostly a slot guy, but he showed the ability to get separation down the field. That 40 time confirms the speed that he flashed during games. 12:07 p.m.: Tyrann Mathieu is speaking to the press here at the combine. He said he hasn’t taken an illegal substance since Oct. 26, 2012, according to Aaron Wilson of the Baltimore Sun. He also said he woke up at 4 a.m. this morning to take a drug test, according to Jeff Howe of the Boston Herald. 12:03 p.m.: We’ve got another sub-4.3 40-yard dash. Kenny Stills of Oklahoma just posted a 4.28. Stills can absolutely fly in shorts and a t-shirt. I have yet to watch Stills’ tape from college, but I’m looking forward to it now. Ryan Swope from Texas A&M just posted a 4.38. He’ll be a nice slot receiver who has the size to line up out wide and the speed to run down the field. 12:00 p.m.: Denard Robinson just posted a 4.45 for his second time. It’s typical for players to run slower in their second attempt. It will be very interesting once these official times come out. Last year, the official times were usually quite a bit slower than the unofficial hand times. That was because the electronic time was picking up the first twitch when a player would begin. The official times could boost Tavon Austin or Marquise Goodwin over Chris Johnson’s combine record. Da’Rick Rogers just ran a 4.44 on his second attempt. That’s good news for the wide receiver that got kicked out of Tennessee for failing three drug tests. Casey Hayward told me before he got drafted by the Packers last year that Rogers was the toughest wide receiver he faced in the SEC. 11:53 a.m.: Robert Woods just ran a 4.44 too. That’s the time of the day for these wideouts. The Patriots typically draft wide receivers who run sub 4.5, so there’s plenty of options here for New England. 11:47 a.m.: These wide receivers are turning in freaky times. Florida State’s Rodney Smith, LeHigh’s Ryan Spadola and Texas A&M’s Ryan Swope all had 4.44′s. Oklahoma’s Kenny Stills and Oregon State’s Markus Wheaton had 4.34′s, Washington State’s Marquess Wilson ran a 4.41 and Baylor’s Terrance Williams ran a 4.46. 11:36 a.m.: Cordarrelle Patterson just confirmed his status in the Top 15 with a 4.37 40-yard dash. He’s 6-foot-2 and runs like a faster Aaron Hernandez after the catch. He only played for one year at the FBS level, though. Quinton Patton ran a 4.46, which is about where most had him pegged. Former Michigan quarterback just ran a 4.34. That’s a great time for him and should boost his stock after a questionable Senior Bowl. The biggest question is where does he fit in? He could be a wide receiver, running back or cornerback at the next level. 11:20 a.m.: Geno Smith just did himself a favor. He ran a 4.56 40-yard dash, which is the best of the quarterbacks so far. E.J. Manuel is second at 4.62. Smith shows underrated mobility in the pocket, but he hasn’t flashed great skills at putting the ball away and scrambling. His mobility should be viewed more like that of Blaine Gabbert than Jake Locker. 11:13 a.m.: Marquise Goodwin was timed in the 4.1′s by some scouts at the combine. Gil Brandt of NFL.com timed him at 4.17 and 4.19. It will be very interesting to see where his “official” time stands. He clocked an unofficial time of 4.25. Chris Johnson has the official combine record of 4.24. Deion Sanders and Bo Jackson were both reportedly timed in the 4.1′s back in the 1980s. 10:56 a.m.: Tavon Austin and DeAndre Hopkins are shining in wide receiver drills. That should come as no surprise, both should be first-round picks. Hopkins probably has the best hands in this entire class. The second group of quarterbacks and wide receivers starts up at 11 a.m. Geno Smith, Cordarrelle Patterson, Denard Robinson and Da’Rick Rogers are players to watch. 10:32 a.m.: There’s some debate out there over how much the combine actually means. For me, it’s a nice update on where these players are two months after the season ended. Players have been training at facilities since the end of December and they’ve been improving their speed, technique, strength, etc. That’s why it’s slightly annoying to see a player like Justin Hunter say he lost 15 pounds to run a faster 40-yard dash. That’s not an accurate representation of what he’ll be in the NFL. Some players gain weight for the combine, but that’s usually because they’ll have to do the same to play in the league. Hunter ran a 4.41, but what would he have run at this actual playing weight? 10:15 a.m.: DeAndre Hopkins would be a perfect fit for the Patriots in Round 1, but they don’t have a history of drafting wide receivers who run 4.5 or slower. He has some of the best hands in this draft and just showed it in the gauntlet drill. 10:12 a.m.: Tavon Austin is tearing the combine apart. He ran a 4.31 in his second 40 attempt and now he just performed perfectly in the wide receiver gauntlet drill. Austin has proven himself to be one of the best players in this entire class already today. Someone described him as a combination of Percy Harvin and Wes Welker. That may be accurate. 9:37 a.m.: Stedman Bailey helped himself out with his second 40-yard dash. He ran a 4.50 in his second attempt. That was after running 4.57 in the first try. Bailey was called the best route runner in college football by his high school and college teammate Geno Smith. Bailey has a bit of Wes Welker to his game. 9:29 a.m.: DeAndre Hopkins is another player that should be on Patriots fans’ radar. Hopkins ran a 4.50, which is about what was expected out of him. Justin Hunter, who NFL Network said lost weight to run the 40, ran a 4.44. 9:22 a.m.: Now that I’ve had time to actually wrap my head around Tavon Austin running a 4.25 unofficial 40, there’s no way he makes it to No. 29 in the draft to New England. Despite weighing just 174 pounds and standing 5-foot-8, he’ll be a top 15 pick. Austin is a special player. Josh Boyce helped himself out with a 4.40. Corey Fuller ran a 4.38 and Marcus Davis ran 4.40 at 233 pounds. Marquise Goodwin just matched Tavon Austin with a 4.25. Wow. 9:15 a.m.: Tavon Austin, who should be a Patriots target, just absolutely killed it with a 4.25 40. He wasn’t kidding when he said he was recently timed at 4.29. 9:11 a.m.: The first group of quarterbacks are done. Now it’s time for the first group of wideouts, which features Tavon Austin, Stedman Bailey and some more intriguing burners. For the QBs, Colby Cameron came out on top with a 4.66 40. Cameron is a Louisiana Tech product. Collin Klein ran a 4.78 40 on his second attempt. 9:03 a.m.: The day was kicked off with Tyler Bray running  a 5.00 unofficial 40-yard dash. Mike Glennon, one of the top quarterbacks in this class, matched Glennon with a 5-flat 40. MarQueis Gray helped himself out at possibly making an NFL roster as a tight end by running a 4.69. Collin Klein, who was a front runner for the Heisman at one point, churned out a 4.81. That’s a bit disappointing. 8 a.m. ET: By the end of the day, NFL draft pundits will be wearing old gold and blue because West Virginia prospects will be taking center stage at Day 4 of the combine. Quarterbacks, wide receivers and running backs will be running through the NFL scouting combine gauntlet (or inferno) today, and three of the most hyped prospects in that group are Mountaineers quarterback Geno Smith and wide receivers Tavon Austin and Stedman Bailey. All three players should test well and shine in positional drills. Because California wide receiver Keenan Allen is sitting out, Austin will be the first player to run the 40-yard dash at 9 a.m. The small, shifty wide receiver says he recently ran a 4.29 40-yard dash, but players have a tendency of slowing down considerably once they hit Indianapolis. Bailey may not be quite as fast or agile as Austin, but he’s a bigger player who will shine in positional drills, especially when he’s displaying his route-running skills. Bailey will likely want to take passes from Smith in those drills — the two have been teammates since high school. Without a top-tier running quarterback, it might be important for Smith to time well in the 40 to set himself apart from the Ryan Nassibs, Tyler Wilsons and Mike Glennons of the draft. Among other players to watch on Day 4 of the combine are Oklahoma State running back Joseph Randle, Oregon running back Kenjon Barner and UNC running back Giovani Bernard. All could time very well in the 40 and 3-cone agility drill. Tennessee wide receivers Cordarrelle Patterson and Justin Hunter are among the most athletic in this class, but Texas wide receiver Marquise Goodwin has the best shot to break Chris Johnson’s combine record 4.24 second 40. Michigan “wide receiver” Denard Robinson might be the player I’ll be watching most closely. He’ll have to display some top-notch speed and agility to be considered more than just a project with so many great wideouts in this draft. So tune in here all day for all the latest times, news and analysis. If yesterday was any indication, we could see some record breaking times turned in by the skill position players. Photo via Facebook/WVU Football
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