7 candidates to run fastest 40-yard dash at pro days
The 40-yard dash is typically one of the most popular drills at the NFL Combine.
While the combine looks a lot different this year, prospects from around the country will still be testing their speed in the 40-yard dash at their pro days.
With the pro day circuit fully kicking off this week, NFL Network's Daniel Jeremiah took a look at some of the fastest prospects from around the nation to see who might register the fastest time on their 40-yard dash.
We have already seen one impressive performance with Northwestern cornerback Greg Newsome II posting an unofficial 4.38 40 on Tuesday.
Here are Jeremiah's seven candidates to run the fastest 40-yard dash this year:
WR Tutu Atwell, Louisville (date of pro day: March 30)
"Atwell looks like the fastest guy on the field every time you watch him. He's undersized, so teams will be interested to see his weight at the pro day (listed by the school at 165 pounds), but he has rare play speed. When I watch his college tape, I try to imagine what it would have been like trying to tackle him as a high school QB -- he was the Miami-Dade County Player of the Year at the position! He routinely scored touchdowns of 50-plus yards after moving to receiver with the Cardinals, and I don't see him going any later than Round 3 this year." -- Jeremiah
CB Tyson Campbell, CB Eric Stokes, Georgia (date of pro day: March 17)
EDGE Jayson Oweh, Penn State (date of pro day: March 25)
"I know it's surprising to see an edge rusher on this list, but the folks I talk to at Penn State say Oweh is going to run sub-4.4. At 6-foot-5 and about 250 pounds, that will make him the height-weight-speed freak of the spring! If he runs in the 4.3s at 250 pounds, it will be a more impressive feat than any smaller, faster guy running in the 4.2s. There wasn't a ton of buzz about him in the winter after he didn't record a sack during the 2020 season, but we could be hearing his name a lot more coming out of the Nittany Lions' pro day. I currently have him 33rd in my rankings." -- Jeremiah
WR Anthony Schwartz, Auburn (date of pro day: March 18)
CB Kary Vincent Jr., LSU (date of pro day: March 31)
WR Jaylen Waddle, Alabama (date of pro day: March 23 and March 30)
"Waddle is one of the favorites to post the fastest 40 time of any prospect in this year's draft. His former teammate, Henry Ruggs III, took home the crown for the best mark of any prospect at last year's combine (4.27 seconds), and I expect Waddle to compete with that clocking. His GPS tracking numbers are the best I've seen from this year's class. If he shows he's fully recovered from the ankle injury that sidelined him for much of last season and aces the tests this spring, he'll be a lock to go in the top 10. If not for the injury, he'd have a really good chance to be the first wide receiver off the board." -- Jeremiah
View photos of the Giants participating at the NFL Combine.
Ian Rapoport: Potential free agent moves for Giants
While the new league year officially kicks off next week, the Giants have already gotten their offseason started with the placement of the franchise tag on defensive tackle Leonard Williams.
Williams was one of the team's best defenders last season, registering a team-high and career-high 11.5 sacks while playing all 16 games. He added 14 tackles for loss and 30 quarterback hits, serving as the Giants' most productive pass rusher.
NFL Network insider Ian Rapoport joined the Giants Huddle podcast to discuss Williams' tag along with other potential moves for the team. Rapoport said that while there is a lot of work still to be done to reach a long-term deal with Williams, he believes there is urgency on both sides to reach an agreement soon.
A long-term deal with Williams would most likely lower his 2021 cap hit by a significant margin, thus opening up some cap space for the team to make other moves. While retaining Williams was clearly a priority for the Giants this offseason, another key piece of the defense is set to become a free agent next week in Dalvin Tomlinson.
Tomlinson enjoyed possibly his most productive season in 2020, registering 49 tackles (25 solo), 3.5 sacks, eight tackles for loss, 10 quarterback hits and four passes defensed. More importantly, the former second-round pick has not missed a game in his four-year career and has stepped up as a leader in the locker room in recent years.
Rapoport believes the defensive tackle will have a strong market this offseason, but the NFL Network insider noted how important Tomlinson is to the franchise.
"It sounds like he is a priority (to the Giants)," Rapoport said. "Now I know he's going to be coveted. If you're a team like the Giants, you draft well enough where a mid-rounder becomes a really coveted free agent, that's someone you'd like to keep. I think for Dalvin Tomlinson, the interesting thing for the Giants is not that he's a very good player, he is a very good player, but he's also a leader. You rarely have leaders on the defensive line. It just doesn't always happen that way…
"His value is great on the free agent market. It might be greater with the Giants because of how he leads the team and how the players interact with him. He's important. I don't know if they'll be able to keep him, but he is very important to this team."
Pro Day Tracker: Highlights from Clemson's Pro Day
With the 2021 NFL Draft less than two months away, college pro days are now in full swing.
On Thursday, the Clemson Tigers hit the practice field at Poe Indoor Facility to show off their athleticism and skills in front of NFL representatives.
Trevor Lawrence, widely considered to be the top quarterback prospect in this year's draft, did not participate in Thursday's pro day after undergoing shoulder surgery last month. However, Clemson did have a member of Daniel Jeremiah's top 50 draft prospects participate in Thursday's festivities in the form of running back Travis Etienne (No. 18).