- Mike Reiss, ESPN New England Patriots reporter
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A few quick-hit thoughts from 40-yard dash times of receivers at the NFL combine (NFL.com link here):
1. Rutgers' Mohamed Sanu, a player linked to the Patriots in some mock drafts, clocked a 4.67. That is slower than he anticipated. While Sanu had great production in college, a knock is his ability to separate and run. This 40 time won't negate those concerns for some teams and makes it hard to envision him as a first-round option.
2. Georgia Tech's Stephen Hill was noted in this space earlier in the week with the following question: "After Taylor Price in 2010, would the Patriots consider Hill?" The Patriots saw potential in Price, but knew there would be a large learning curve because he was coming from an option-based offense. It didn't work out. Now Hill is in a similar situation, having played in an run-based offense in college. Hill is known as a burner and he impressed with a 4.36. He could rise on some boards.
3. LSU's Reuben Randle, who showed poise in his media interview, ran 4.55. Not off-the-charts numbers. One could see a potential scenario where he's available around the time of the Patriots' first pick at 27.
4. Arkansas' Jarius Wright clocked a solid 4.42. Meanwhile, Razorbacks teammate Joe Adams checked in with a disappointing 4.55 after saying he wanted to run 4.2. Both were highlighted from this perspective as players who could fit in New England (after the first round).
5. Notre Dame's Michael Floyd ran a 4.47. That should help his standing.
6. Florida's Chris Rainey, a running back/receiver, blazed a 4.37 (unofficial). He said he was shooting for a 4.1, but the 4.37 still reflects well. For teams like the Patriots looking for explosion in the return game, as well as offensive players who present some matchup challenges, Rainey could be worthy of an early- to mid-round look as noted here.
7. Baylor's Kendall Wright time of 4.61 was a surprise. He is known for his speed.
EXTRA POINT: In digesting these numbers, there is always a balance of not putting too much stock into them. They are one piece in the overall puzzle. Yet considering one of the more important storylines this week was how some of the big receivers would run, the numbers are notable as long as they are kept in the proper context.
A few quick-hit thoughts from 40-yard dash times of receivers at the NFL combine (NFL.com link here):1. Rutgers' Mohamed Sanu, a player linked to the Patriots in some mock drafts, clocked a 4.