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NFL Combine Notebook: Focus on the 40



INDIANPOLIS — There are seven measure physical workouts at the NFL Combine. There’s the 225-pound bench press, the vertical jump, the standing broad jump, three-cone drill, the 20-yard shuttle and the 60-yard shuttle.

But the event that has become the most synonymous with the combine is the 40-yard dash.

The first skill position group to run the 40 came on Friday, when the running backs to their turn.

Penn State and Woodland Hills running back Miles Sanders was right amongst the leaders when everything was said and done. Sanders clocked an official time of 4.49, which was tied for the sixth-fastest amongst running backs.

The leader, Oklahoma State’s Justice Hill, ran a 4.40, and reportedly met with the Steelers.

Hill was followed by Temple’s Ryquell Armstead at 4.45, Florida’s Jordan Scarlett and Ohio State’s Mike Weber at 4.47 and Miami’s Travis Homer at 4.48.

Then came Sanders, tied with Michigan’s Karan Higdon and Memphis’ Darrell Henderson.

Pitt running back Qadree Ollison officially turned in a time of 4.58, tied for the 11th-fastest time. For a big back, that’s an excellent time. For comparison, James Conner ran a 4.65 at the combine in 2017.


Sanders was at the top of the class in one drill, though it came with an asterisk. His 6.89-second time in the three-cone drill was the best amongst the running backs, but Hill didn’t participate with a strained hamstring.

Ollison’s 7.53-second time was the slowest of the backs that ran the drill.


The backs did the rest of the drills on Friday, as well.

Sanders had a 36-inch vertical jump, the sixth-best mark and four inches behind the leader, Hill (again.) Ollison’s vertical was 29.5 inches, the second-worst amongst backs.

In the broad jump, Hill again led the way, with 130 inches, tied with Homer and Notre Dame’s Dexter Williams. Sanders with sixth again with 124 inches. Ollison’s 114 inches were tied for last with Armstead.

In the 20-yard shuttle, Sanders’ 4.19-second time was third-best, behind Kansas State’s Alex Barnes and Williams. Ollison’s 4.31-second time was in the middle of pack.

Sandy Schall, Coldwell Banker
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