Baylor's best hope for a first round pick ran the 40 yard dash in Indianapolis today.
Years ago, that would have been a fantastic 40 yard dash time. This year? Terrance Williams 4.52 second 40 yard dash is tied for 18th...among wide receivers. Remarkably, his time would not place in the top 5 times put up by wide receivers from the Big 12 conference, which overall had a very good day.
UT's Marquise Goodwin almost broke Chris Johnson's NFL Combine record (4.24) with a 4.25. Tavon Austin put up an official 4.34, TCU's Josh Boyce and OU's Kenny Stills also recorded sub-4.4 40's and our own Lanear Sampson turned in a very good 4.46.
The fastest time put up by a non-Big 12 WR was put up by...somebody who was in the Big 12 for a majority of his career in Texas A&M's Ryan Swope, who clocked in at 4.34. SEC Speed? Try Big 12 speed.
Of course, it needs to be said that the 40 yard dash is not the most important part of a player's evaluation. Teams generally just want to see players fall into a range that they have in mind for players at a certain position (in a certain scheme). It's not just that players don't often run 40 yards in a straight line during live games; running an excellent 40 yard dash involves mastering the intricacies of a track sport that don't transfer perfectly to football. Kendall Wright is an excellent example of this - he had great in game speed, but his form in the 40 yard dash at the Combine was terrible and he turned in a disappointing result.
Terrance Williams is part of a cluster of about 8 wide receivers that could go anywhere from the 15th pick to the 60th pick (perhaps even later). There's a benefit in this year's draft in that there is no clear cut #1 WR right now, but the depth in the group of guys who could end up being the first WR taken is impressive. Williams needed a good time today to lock in a first round pick and I'm not sure he got it. Like Wright, he'll have another chance to impress at Baylor's Pro Day.
Here's hoping there are enough teams in the late first round that pay more attention to game tape than the Combine.