Speed Tracker: Top Burners At the Combine

Chip Kelly, you may have heard, has a thing for speed.

He likes burners. And before this roster face-lift is through, odds are there will a few more of them on this team.

In that spirit, we thought we would take a look at who separated themselves from the pack in Indianapolis. Below is a list of the top-10 performers in the 40-yard dash at the Combine. (Note: The draft projections are from CBS Sports.)

Name/Position
School
Time
Projected draft round
Marquise Goodwin (WR)Texas4.273rd
Ryan Swope (WR)Texas A&M4.343rd
Onterio McCalebb (RB)Auburn4.347-FA
Tavon Austin (WR)West Virginia4.341st
Darius Slay (DB)Mississippi St. 4.362nd-3rd
Knile Davis (RB)Arkansas4.377-FA
Dee Milliner (DB)Alabama4.371st
Kenny Stills (WR)Oklahoma 4.384th
Desmond Trufant (DB)Washington4.381st
Josh Boyce (WR)TCU4.385th

Kelly is not one to get caught up too much in 40 times. He had this to say about speed while coaching at Oregon:

I have seen players run 4.5, but they do not run 4.5 in the games. I want the 5.0 player that runs 5.0 on every single play.

Do not be the 4.6 player who plays 5.2 in the games. That is our concept about speed.

It must be determined who is still fleet of foot when the pads are on. Still, it never hurts to have a sub-4.4 as a starting point.

While Combine results don’t come close to painting the entire picture of a player, they can be used to help complete it. That seems to be the case for Alabama corner Dee Milliner, who appears to have solidified his standing as a blue-chipper with a head-turning 40-time of 4.37. Sheil does a good job of explaining why that performance is good for the Eagles on a couple different levels.

Not surprisingly, wide receivers hog five of the 10 top spots. Before you just skip over those names completely, consider that 1) the Eagles are in a rebuilding period and have incentive to truly go with the best available player in this upcoming draft and 2) the wide receiver position isn’t as rock solid as some would lead you to believe. Jeremy Maclin is slated to become a free agent after this year, Jason Avant is entering his eighth season, Riley Cooper has caught 46 balls in three years and who knows where DeSean Jackson‘s career is heading or how long it will last.

Washington corner Desmond Trufant (6-0, 186) is an interesting name to consider. If the Eagles do not go with Milliner at No. 4, would the former team captain be available early in the second?

Other results of note relating to the Eagles:

— Florida strong safety Matt Elam, a projected second-round pick, ran a 4.54. Texas strong safety Kenny Vaccaro, a potential first-round selection, came in at 4.63.

— Oregon defensive end Dion Jordan opened some eyes by clocking in at 4.60 — the third best time among defensive linemen.

— Former Oregon tackle Kyle Long was the third-fastest O-lineman at the Combine, posting a 4.94.

NFL.com has position-by-position breakdowns of the top performers from Indy if you want to go more in-depth.

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