Heyward-Bey blazes in the 40

Darius Heyward-Bey, Jeremy Maclin and Percy Harvin all put their speed on display at the combine, cranking up the competition at wide receiver.

Originally Published: February 22, 2009
By Todd McShay | Scouts Inc.

INDIANAPOLIS -- Sunday was the glamour portion of the 2009 scouting combine, with the offensive skill positions taking the field, and the wide receivers shared very little of the spotlight. Each of the top-10 results turned in by a wideout in the 40-yard dash was 4.45 seconds or faster, including four times in the 4.3-second area.

Maryland's Darrius Heyward-Bey finished the day with the best time (4.30) of any player so far at the combine. While he let the ball get to his frame a little too much during position-specific drills, Heyward-Bey performed well enough to secure a first-round grade, barring some unforeseen setback. He could even push Florida's Percy Harvin for the No. 3 spot in this year's wide receiver class.

Neither Harvin nor Missouri's Jeremy Maclin lit the world on fire, but they certainly verified the home run ability scouts have seen on film. Maclin ran the 40 in 4.46 seconds, which was a hair slower than Harvin's 4.41. It's important to put their times in perspective, though. While several other receivers posted better times, fast is fast, and both ran in the range we expected. In addition, several teams clocked both players in the 4.3-second area with hand-held stopwatches. More importantly, both receivers caught the ball smoothly and displayed explosive athleticism throughout agility and position-specific drills.

On a side note, Maclin landed awkwardly after adjusting for a poorly thrown fade route during route-running drills. He was seen moments later limping off the field with the help of trainers, but there was a collective sigh of relief inside Lucas Oil Stadium when Maclin returned to the field. After thoroughly examining him, the medical staff cleared Maclin to return to drills, and he stretched a bit before hopping back into the rotation and finishing his workout. We are now hearing that he has a hyperextended knee, and it's unknown if he'll participate in Missouri's pro day on March 5, but the injury isn't considered serious at this point.