Friday, May 3, 2013
Going, going, gone: West picks by 40 times
By Mike Sando
Twenty-three of the 38 players NFC West teams drafted in 2013 ran the 40-yard dash at the NFL scouting combine in February.
The chart shows the times they recorded, providing a feel for the track speed teams from this division added through the draft.
Three of the six fastest times belong to players the St. Louis Rams drafted. The team drafted two wide receivers in the first three rounds, moves designed in part to improve team speed at the skill positions.
These and other NFC West draft choices sought to improve their 40-yard times at various pro days and private workouts. The times they recorded in those settings might have affected their draft stock. I chose to focus on the times collected under the same controlled settings.
The speed Ryan Swope displayed at the combine makes him an intriguing addition for the Arizona Cardinals in the sixth round. Concerns regarding concussions contributed to Swope's relatively low draft status.
Cardinals coach Bruce Arians wanted to add a speed receiver in the draft. The Cardinals could have more in mind for Swope than would be typical for a player drafted so late. General manager Steve Keim said he and Arians had tracked Swope closely.
"We were extremely excited that he started to slide," Keim said. "He is a guy that not only can stretch the field vertically, but has some underneath quickness. He kind of reminds me of Brandon Stokley a little bit, someone you’re probably familiar with when he came out of a small school in Louisiana.
"He does a nice job working the middle, can play slot, can play the outside, and will also be able to help us on special teams."
Keim pointed specifically to Swope's time speed as part of the receiver's appeal.
"His times at Indy were remarkable," Keim said. "His three-cone, which is one of my favorite drills, which judges a lot of the change-of-direction and movement skills, he ran a high 6.5, low 6.6, which was easily one of the best times at Indy this year."