ne key milestone in the draft evaluation process was checked off earlier this week with the end of the NFL Combine, and another was completed on Thursday when ESPN’s Todd McShay released the third version of his mock draft. After sorting through the results from the measurements, positional drills and athletic testing of the top prospects, McShay made several updates to his big board and shuffled a couple of defensive ends and wide receivers around.
The strong performance of the consensus top two quarterbacks, Jameis Winston and Marcus Mariota, at the Combine solidified McShay’s views on where the duo will land in the draft. The analyst kept Winston as the No. 1 overall pick, and also still has Mariota going to the New York Jets at No. 6. This is the second straight version for McShay with the quarterbacks in those positions; his initial mock draft in December featured Mariota as the top pick and Winston going next to the Tennessee Titans.
Speedsters are still a hot commodity, even if front offices are outwardly less impressed with track stars. How have those guys fared in the draft over the years? Are teams less drawn to 40 times than they used to be?
For some insight on the fate of the fastest players in the draft, we went back to 2006, digging into the numbers for the 15 players with the fastest 40 times in each draft, a total of 135 players. Here’s what we learned.
More than 58 percent of the 135 players have been picked in the first three rounds. Those numbers haven’t slagged off any since Davis went to the great draft in the sky. In 2014, 11 of the 15 fastest players were taken in the first three rounds. Since 2012, 10 of the 45 fastest players have been first-round picks, including players like Tavon Austin, A.J. Jenkins and Dee Milliner, who can hold their own with any of Davis’ fastest draft busts.