Former Clemson star wide receiver Jacoby Ford turned in one of the fastest 40 times in NFL combine history Sunday. Ford was unofficially clocked at 4.28 seconds, just a hair off Tennessee Titans running back 4.24 combine record he set couple of years ago.
I remember when Ford was coming out of high school and then Clemson coach Tommy Bowden talked about this kid that could run a sub 4.3 40-yard dash. Frankly, I thought it was bogus. So often we hear of these lighting fast kids that end up being the beneficiary of slow stop watches and bad timing or just bogus hype. Well, over the course of his four year at Clemson and now at the NFL combine, Ford has proved Bowden correct and is now considered the fastest player in this year’s NFL draft.
Who is the second fastest? That could be Ford’s former teammate C.J. Spiller. According to some reports, Spiller ran a 4.2 40 for a few scouts and team execs. That would actually be faster than Ford’s but it wasn’t official. The NFL Network initially reported Spiller ran 4.28 seconds, but NFL.com later changed it to 4.37. Regardless, anyone that has watched Spiller or Ford play in person knows that there aren’t many people on the football field that can catch them.
Both are going to be drafted. Spiller in particular has been turning a lot of heads. He is quickly working his way into a top ten pick. His versatility as a return guy and pass catcher has really helped his stock. It also doesn’t hurt that he’s a great kid and the kind of guy owners like to have on their team.
Draft guru Mel Kiper seems sold. “He gives you so many dimensions and so much versatility as a runner, receiver and return man,” Kiper said. “He can do all those things and give you the all-purpose yardage and be a great decoy, too. Run him on a reverse, or fake a reverse and he’ll take (defensive) guys with him.”
Another note Ford, there is one report that the Panthers could be interested in him. Carolina receiver Steve Smith has requested the team add a receiver that has more speed than him. Smith is a burner so that makes the pool of players faster than him small. Ford is one of the few guys that is faster than Smith. Perhaps he will end up in Charlotte next season.