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.
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