Marquise Goodwin of Texas went into the 2013 NFL Combine looking to break the 40 yard dash record time of 4.24 seconds set by Chris Johnson in 2008. Goodwin ran a blistering time, but fell just short with an official time of 4.27 seconds. Tavon Austin of West Virginia also burned up the track in Indianapolis, running a 4.34. Both players posted unofficial times of 4.25 seconds originally, leaving open the possibility that the record had fallen before the official times were posted. Onterio McCalebb of Auburn ran an unofficial time of 4.21 seconds, but his official time of 4.34 seconds left him tied with Tavon Austin. Of course, the record 40-yard dash time for offensive linemen was broken by Terron Armstead yesterday.
Just about every year there's a big-time college football player with a track background who proclaims that he's gunning for the record set by Chris Johnson in 2008. Last year it was Chris Rainey, this year it was Marquise Goodwin. An interesting footnote to the whole situation is that Bo Jackson posted a time of 4.12 seconds in 1986, but since that was hand timed it isn't considered the official NFL Combine record.
Marquise Goodwin is truly trying to ride his speed to an NFL roster spot. Teams already knew he had plenty of speed, but this time just underscores that fact. NFL teams will have to guess whether he will be able to really contribute at the next level. Goodwin caught 26 passes for 340 yards and three touchdowns last season at Texas. Those numbers don't jump off the page, but the speed certainly does.
Tavon Austin is already penciled in as a first round pick. He posted 114 receptions for 1,289 yards and 12 touchdowns. Those numbers do jump off the page. Combine that with a confirmation of his straight line speed and Tavon Austin has cemented himself as a first round choice in the 2013 NFL Draft.
Onterio McCalebb had more touches as a running back at Auburn, but will fit better as a slot receiver and kick returner in the NFL. He weighed in at only 168 pounds. He rushed 94 times in 2012 for 570 yards and six touchdowns. McCalebb caught 18 passes for 132 yards and posted a kickoff return touchdown in each of his last two seasons.
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