Over/Under 4.45 Seconds? Predicting Lamar Jackson’s 40 at the NFL Combine
Photo Credit: Rob Kinnan-USA TODAY Sports
The 2018 NFL combine drills will take place on March 2-5. Players will have the chance to improve their draft stock, and gamblers will have the chance to profit on various combine-related prop bets. Today we’ll break down some of Saturday’s various drills and top storylines in the fourth of several combine-specific pieces. All odds are updated as of Friday, Mar. 2.
The combine’s running backs, offensive linemen, and special team participants performed in front of teams on Friday to kick off combine season, and on Saturday we get quarterbacks in addition to wide receivers and tight ends. Interviews and MRI results will potentially have a larger impact on the remaining prospects than their drill performances, but luckily we degenerates can leave that business to the professionals. Our mission is simple: Make money.
Who Is Participating?
The wide receivers and tight ends are interesting, but it’s the quarterbacks who have a chance to steal the show and earn that shiny No. 1 overall pick.
- Josh Allen | 6’4″ and 237 Pounds | (Redshirt Junior, Wyoming): Player Profile
- Sam Darnold | 6’3″ and 221 Pounds | (Redshirt Sophomore, USC): Player Profile
- Lamar Jackson | 6’2″ and 216 Pounds | (Junior, Louisville): Player Profile
- Baker Mayfield | 6’0″ and 215 Pounds | (Redshirt Senior, Oklahoma): Player Profile
- Josh Rosen | 6’4″ and 226 Pounds | (Junior, UCLA): Player Profile
As discussed in our piece on the top players to watch at the 2018 combine, several of these quarterbacks will have the chance to help their draft stock with a strong showing in both the positional and combine-specific drills. Jackson is expected to crush the combine given his status as the draft’s No. 1 dual-threat quarterback, while the other signal callers could turn some heads with some above-average athleticism to go along with rocket arms. Worst case scenario: Nobody is able to produce a head-turning performance and we’re all subjected to 24 more hours of ‘Is Lamar a wide receiver?’ slander.
What Are They Doing?
Saturday’s on-field workouts will consist of the 40-yard dash, vertical jump, broad jump, 3-cone drill, 20-yard shuttle, and 60-yard shuttle. Players will perform the bench press the day before their assigned workout day, so the quarterbacks, tight ends, and receivers will bench on Friday afternoon.
Additionally, each position will be put through plenty of football-specific drills. This will be repeated for different position groups from Friday to Monday. At some point over the weekend, NFL Network’s Rich Eisen will be running the 40-yard dash.
What Individuals Can I Bet On?
Bovada and BetDSI have currently taken down their combine odds, so we have only three combine-specific props courtesy of BetOnline. Those notable to Saturday include:
- Lamar Jackson fastest 40 time: Faster (-140) vs. slower (+110) than 4.45 seconds
- Quinton Flowers fastest 40 time: Faster (+100) vs. slower (-130) than 4.58 seconds
- Rich Eisen fastest 40 time (in a full suit): Faster (-125) vs. slower (-105) than 6.05 seconds
Per ESPN’s high school testing results, Jackson clocked a 4.77-second 40-yard dash before enrolling at Louisville. He was then credited with a 4.34-second 40-yard dash last spring during the Cardinals’ spring testing week. BetDSI originally set Jackson’s over/under at 4.35 seconds, while BetOnline went with 4.45 seconds. It wasn’t surprising his ‘slower’ odds at BetDSI moved to -250 after opening at -150 before ultimately being taken down.
My lean: Jackson FASTER than 4.45 seconds. Reggie McNeal, Robert Griffin III, and Marcus Vick are the only passers to run a 40 under 4.45 seconds over the past 12 years. Jackson has earned comparisons to Marcus’ older brother in terms of his rushing ability and is on par with that group athletically. A sub-4.45 mark is a special time for a quarterback, but Jackson is a special athlete.
Only Trevor Knight and Jeff Driskel have crossed the sub-4.58 threshold over the past two combines. Still, Flowers is already being classified by some as a running back after racking up at least 190 carries in each of his final three seasons. There are conflicting reports on his high school time, with his ceiling in the 4.4-second range and floor at 4.7 seconds. He’ll be dealing with about 10 extra pounds compared to when he was in high school.
My lean: Flowers FASTER than 4.58 seconds. A sub-4.6 time might be what it takes for Flowers to be drafted. Not many quarterbacks have managed to break this mark, but Flowers is hardly your everyday quarterback. I’m personally going to stay away from this prop, since the reported 40 times are so wide for a bet with essentially even odds.
Eisen has run the 40-yard dash since 2005. His inaugural 6.77-second mark is still his worst to date, while his 5.94-second sprint in 2016 is his current record. Eisen’s overall average of 6.2 seconds is a bit misleading given that he’s somehow kept father time at bay in recent years. Overall, he’s ran the 40 in 6.03 seconds or faster in five of the past six combines. More concerning news for over bettors comes from the Tuesday edition of Eisen Overtime, in which he revealed his pilates-esque training for the event.
My lean: Eisen FASTER than 6.05 seconds. His slower times in the past could have been due to the peculiar choice not to wear running shoes, something Eisen has corrected in recent years. Still, bettors beware: No 48-year-old has ever successfully run the 40-yard dash at the NFL combine.
Be sure to check out our list of combine participants and 2018 NFL draft prospects throughout the weekend for updated measurements and testing information.
Photo Credit: Rob Kinnan-USA TODAY Sports