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Thoughts On OSU’s Pro Day



Justin Blackmon, Brandon Weeden and Co. did what they’ve basically been doing for the last two years, save a few ominous Saturdays (and one Friday): lit up the college football landscape.

First, Weeden posted an impressive vertical (32″) and an even more impressive 40 (4.8-range, Darron Thomas ran a 4.8 at the combine). Blackmon jumped 35″ and some guy Poling wrote about today named Jarrod Fields jumped 39″.

Then Nick Martinez put up the most bench reps with 32. Josh Cooper ran a 4.62 40. John Elway was even in attendance, Tebowing as he drooled over a QB who can accurately throw the ball downfield.

But the main event, the thing 60+ media folks and scouts were there to see, was Blackmon’s 40 time.

Those of us who weren’t there waited with bated breath as reports rolled in that Blackmon ran a 40 that was anywhere between 1.2 and 4.5, depending on who you subscribe to on your Twitter feed, but that was eventually (and officially) called a 4.46.

Impressive from somebody who’s received numerous TO. If you’re doing TO things with Reggie Wayne speed, your bank account is usually going to not incur any overdraft charges.

Three additional notes on Blackmon’s 40:

– I’m not sure why the 4.34 was floated out there for so long because. First of all, there are like 50 people on earth who can run a 4.3 and Blackmon’s not one of them. Secondly, everything was unofficial but being reported as official! And bloggers have are the ones with no integrity! You just timed a 40-yard dash on your iPhone and you’re reporting it as news! Come on, guys.

– Really, Blackmon running anywhere between a 4.4 and 4.6 didn’t feel like it was going to affect his draft status that much. He didn’t make any money today. Kiper and McShay (say what you want) have had him at #2 for a while now, so what was he going to do, overtake Luck by running the first sub-4 40 ever? No.

– Did we really need a stopwatch to tell us that Justin Blackmon is good at football? Do we really need to know this, Cris Carter?!?

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And that’s the thing about pro days and combines. There are two very distinct and VERY separate narratives being told. The one we as fans subscribe to is a moving target. What matters is whatever we want to matter. If Blackmon runs a 4.75 we say, “but watch the Fiesta Bowl!” If he runs a 4.34 we say “see, he’s really fast!”

The more accurate narrative, and the one scouts and coaches actually believe (even though they lose their minds about quarterbacks), is that 40 times and bench reps are just small pieces of a larger puzzle they’re trying to put together. A good 40 is like being proficient with Excel on your resume. It doesn’t change lives and heal third world babies like some people want you to believe.

Thankfully for Blackmon (and to the same degree, Weeden) has put together a sparkling, gold-star lined resume over his last four years in Stillwater, Oklahoma. Today was a microcosm of that, not the proof.

And can I ask now why we didn’t get a Rich Eisen 40 out of Robert Allen. I got a hundy on over 9.5 seconds!

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