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Scouting The 2013 NFL Draft: Ranking the Running BacksWhen it comes to the NFL Combine, the 40-yard dash is the main event. As with the 100m dash in the Olympics, everyone wants to see who the fastest player available is. Millions of dollars have been earned and lost by a good or poor time, respectively. Certain teams like the Oakland Raiders have based their drafting philosophies off of speedsters. However, such philosophies generally fail, as the 40-yard dash is a poor predictor of future performance.Introducing, the Speed Score.The Speed Score is not a new measurement. In fact, here is a description of it provided by Football Outsiders:Fully introduced in Pro Football Prospectus 2008 by Bill Barnwell, a system for projecting the success of college running backs entering the NFL. Combines a player's weight with his 40-yard dash time from the NFL scouting combine, thus accounting for the fact that a larger back is more likely to be a good NFL player than a small back with the same speed. Speed Scores generally range from 80 to 120, with 100 as the average. Formula is (weight*200) / (40-time^4).All 40-yard dashes are not created equal. If a 170lb scatback runs a 4.3 40, that's difficult to compare it to the 4.7 the 245lb bulldozer ran. You can't weigh a 40-time too heavily, either positively or negatively, without putting it in context. That's where the Speed Score comes in. As the block quote above says, it is generally ranked from 80 to 120, with 100 being the average. There's a high correlation between a higher score and a successful NFL career, although of course there are numerous other factors to consider (including work ethic, usage, injuries, etc.). For example, Bo Jackson scored a 149.5. Eric **CENSORED**erson scored a 112.2. Barry Sanders scored a 110.6. According to Football Outsiders, there have been only four running backs since 1999 with Speed Scores under 95 to become viable starting backs, including Frank Gore, Brian Westbrook, Ahmad Bradshaw, and Darren Sproles).The measurements from the 2013 Combine are in, and we can now calculate the Speed Score of the running backs and project their NFL futures. So without further ado, here are the rankings:Knile Davis: 227 lbs, 4.37, 124.49 Mike James: 223 lbs, 4.53, 105.91 Christine Michael: 220 lbs, 4.54, 103.57 Matthew Tucker: 221 lbs, 4.55, 103.13 Le'Veon Bell: 230 lbs, 4.60, 102.74 Michael Ford: 210 lbs, 4.50, 102.42 D.J. Harper: 211 lbs, 4.52, 101.10 Johnathan Franklin: 205 lbs, 4.49, 100.88 Zac Stacy: 216 lbs, 4.55, 100.79 C.J. Anderson: 224 lbs, 4.60, 100.06 Cierre Wood: 213 lbs, 4.56, 98.53 Mike Gillislee: 208 lbs, 4.55, 97.06 Kerwynn Williams: 195 lbs, 4.48, 96.82 Giovani Bernard: 202 lbs, 4.53, 95.94 Onterio McCalebb: 168 lbs, 4.34, 94.71 Braden Wilson: 251 lbs, 4.81, 93.78 Kenjon Barner: 196 lbs, 4.53, 93.09 Lonnie Pryor: 227 lbs, 4.70, 93.04 Montee Ball: 214 lbs, 4.66, 90.76 Zach Line: 232 lbs, 4.77, 89.63 Stefphon Jefferson: 213 lbs, 4.68, 88.80 Joseph Randle: 204 lbs, 4.63, 88.78 Andre Ellington: 199 lbs, 4.61, 88.12 Tommy Bohanon: 246 lbs, 4.88, 86.75 Montel Harris: 208 lbs, 4.68, 86.72 George Winn: 218 lbs, 4.75, 85.65 Rex Burkhead: 214 lbs, 4.73, 85.51 Jawan Jamison: 203 lbs, 4.68, 84.63 Theo Rid**CENSORED**: 201 lbs, 4.68, 83.80 Stepfan Taylor: 214 lbs, 4.76, 83.37 Zach Boren: 238 lbs, 5.00, 76.16 Ray Graham: 199 lbs, 4.80, 74.98 Robbie Rouse: 190 lbs, 4.80, 71.58
Thanks FRG for posting...Would be curious to know what was Doug Martin's speed score?
For anyone who cares, Doug Martin had a speed score of 104.1 last year.