Cornerback D.J. Turner II was one of the standouts, posting the fastest 40-yard dash time out of all players so far with a 4.26. It's the fourth fastest time since 2003, according to ESPN. He's 5'11", 178 lbs. with 30 3/4" arms and 9 5/8" hands. He had a 38.5" vertical jump and a 10'11" broad jump.
Meanwhile, defensive tackle Mazi Smith was a strength standout with the top bench press number so far (34 reps at 225 lbs.). He measured in at 6'3", 327 lbs. with 33 3/4" arms and 9 3/4" hands.
Defensive end Mike Morris is 6'5" and 275 lbs. with 33 1/2" arms and 10" hands. He ran a 4.95 forty with a 28.5" vertical, a 9'2" broad jump, and 22 reps on the bench press.
Still left to test are wide receiver Ronnie Bell, center Olu Oluwatimi, offensive tackle Ryan Hayes, kicker Jake Moody, punter Brad Robbins, and tight end Luke Schoonmaker.
That's some make-you-$$$ speed for Turner. I know we wanted him back but... beep beep and zoom zoom...he's gone.ReplyDelete
Turner was a 3-star. But his offer list (Alabama, ND, Florida, etc.) told another story. Maybe the sites slept on him because he was from a small program in North Dakota. Checks notes....oh sorry, I meant IMG academy in Florida by way of a Georgia state champ. Hmm.
Good find by Partridge. Glad we got him (Partridge) so hopefully we can get more like him (Turner).
Here's an interesting guide to target NFL combine numbers by position, and what each test is seeking to reveal:ReplyDelete
That's from a Chicago Bears perspective, but I have to believe other NFL teams have similar objectives and goals.
I hope DJ cashes in on that run, but, we never saw that speed on the field. He was a good player, very good. His biggest weakness was he seemed to get outmuscled for jump balls. But 4.26 speed? I would have guessed 4.5 based on his play. Maybe he was injured, all players are dinged up and much slower game 10 than game 1. Best of luck to him, if al Davis was alive he would get picked in the first round (true story, Oakland passed on drafting Rodgers in the first round to select the Fabian Washington from nebraska. The fasted 40 in the combine. )ReplyDelete
I wouldn't have guessed 4.26, but he seemed like a 4.4 guy to me. He never got outrun. Like you said, he just got outmuscled, which makes sense, considering he's 178 lbs.Delete
I have a good friend that coaches speed in the northern suburbs of Detroit. He ended up his college career at Mississippi State, played receiver and QB when they got crushed by injuries.Delete
He was born fast, but not quite fast enough for the NFL. At the end of his senior year, he started training with a track coach, maybe Mississippi State's sprints coach. I don't remember the details, or the number but in the world of the forty yard dash, he made incredible improvement, taking maybe as much as a near second off of his time between the end of the season and his Senior Day run. He did not get drafted, but he got into the league for more than the proverbial cup of coffee. Maybe a thermos or two.
Technique in sprints is huge. You can see it in Turner's run. That's a real smooth go right there.
So the moral of the story here is that you can teach speed ... to an already fast guy.
You can also teach accuracy ... to a guy who already can put it in there.
But, in either case tho, a guy that can't, ain't gonna.
I think I agree generally, but if technique can get you from 4.8 to 4.4, it can probably also get you 5.5 to 5.1 right?Delete
My bad on the improvement, low 4.4s to mid/low 4.3sDelete
I'm pretty confident in saying that in the combine QBs are assed on their accuracy via drills just like players are assessed on their speed via the 40 yard sprint. It may or may not be identical to "game speed" or "game accuracy" but it's some indicator.Delete
So I will agree that there's only so much you can improve -- you probably can't turn a 6'5 320 OG into a guy who runs a 4.4 nor can you turn him into a QB who drops dimes with perfect accuracy 96% of the time. There's natural talent level necessary for skill position guys to succeed at the college level and some guys who don't have it (NFL caliber traits) never will -- but there's room for coaching up, technique, and improvement for guys who have a certain baseline.
If you can turn DJ Turner from a guy running a 4.6 to a guy running a 4.3 you can probably turn Joe Milton from a guy completing 55% of his passes to a guy completing 65%. We can quibble about which is easier but also agree on fundamental point that a certain baseline ability is necessary for success at the elite level (NFL) and improvement can be made (though effort, practice, coaching, technique, experience, etc.)
A couple years ago, Sam Webb kept talking about how Turner was dealing with some chronic injury issues that hampered him going all the way back to high school. I think it had something to do with his glute or hamstring or both. That didn't get fixed until he was at Michigan for a year or two. So the 4.63 improving to a 4.26 may have been a physical health thing to a certain extent. As for what percentage of it was physical health and what percentage of it had to do with strength/technique development, I have no idea.Delete
I tend to think speed is what it is. You can work on your sprint technique to juke the 40 time going in a straight light from a stop, but on the field chasing people around and changing direction is stuff that is generally going to be there or not be there.Delete
Maybe allow some wiggle room for training gains +X% but it's not like people are coming into the Michigan program or the NFL combine fat and out of shape, generally speaking. The rule of the NFL is that guys get slower. They are gaining weight and building muscle, not getting faster at that age. College is different because some guys are still hitting physical growth spurts in various ways.
No offense to Herbert or Sanderson -- they definitely get their kids bigger and stronger -- but the raw athleticism needed to be fast is what it is most of the time. You can't teach 4.4. speed just like you can't teach being 6'10.
I was just reading how Bill Russel was high jumping at an olympic level with pretty much no technique or training whatsoever. He was just that caliber of athlete. I think of speed similar to jumping ability and balance. There are just different forms of athleticism that can be worked on to a degree but are mostly naturally born (aka talent) not developed (aka skill).
Though of course injuries are an exception.
Good luck to Turner, but he got Moss'd too often for my likingReplyDelete
Milton will crush the combine. It's when a defense is coming at him that he wilts
A few folks may not be aware of what Joe Milton did as a starter this year against a top 10 defense last season.ReplyDelete
Perhaps Clemson was not motivated for their bowl game a la Florida in 2016, and if you squint you can see that some of these throws were not 100% on target, but the results were pretty impressive on a day where he faced plenty of pressure.