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*Quick notes, moving fast on them...forgive any typos*
-- Be sure to see the video I posted on my/the FFM Twitter and/or Facebook on Friday.
The NFL Network did that overlay of a past year's 40-time video along with a current guy's tape…essentially showing them running ‘a race’ of sorts. It's a really neat thing they do. Well, they showed one ONLINE during a pause between drills on Friday...they showed it only online, not on TV. It was David Johnson 2015 overlaid with 2018 Saquon Barkley.
Now, I'm pretty good at what I do...so, I remember quite clearly that David Johnson ran about a 4.50 at the Combine. I also just watched Saquon get clocked at 4.40. I was wondering why they were doing this. I guessed it was to drive home the 'Saquon as god' mantra and to try to kick David Johnson like they do often (usually they just ignore him).
What's not on my Twitter/Facebook video was the 10-15 seconds before this...the...uh-hummm...'football analyst'...who was hosting a totally ridiculous social media thing that they would cut to and cut away from actual things happening on the field so this... *cough* respected member of the football media could ask players about the pictures on their Twitter. It's really interesting *insert depressing eyeroll here* stuff. Anyways...
So, the talking head sets up this voting thing to see who people thought would run faster...DJ 2015 or Barkley 2018. What's amazing is that these events/times already happened. Who is voting on it? We already know who ran faster. The viewer vote was 67-33% that DJ would run faster???? The talking head was so aggravated...but more that she didn't know the answer either but just copped an attitude of -- how could anyone in their right mind think Barkley did not run faster than whoever this David Johnson guy is? I was thinking the same thing…only, because I knew the answer already. So, she rolled the overlay tape to show all the DJ idiots how dumb they were for doubting Barkley. I was as aghast as well...the times already exist -- Barkley is going to blow DJ away.
And then the analytics industry died right in front of my eyes.
They roll the overlay tape, and DJ jumps out to a quick lead -- which is a huge thing for a RB...comparing two greats...I'll take the one with the elite 10-yard time/burst. Barkley then catches up and the finish looks like a photo finish tie...with Barkley maybe a whisker ahead. It took me a second to drink it in...wait...what? How could David Johnson officially run a 4.50 40-time and Barkley a 4.40…but the tape of them running together was dead even?
Now, I have to stop and think on top of everything else in world news -- are the Combine results susceptible to fake news?
I think Barkley did run a 4.40. They showed other similar comparisons and Barkley was positioned ahead of Fournette, Elliott, Kamara, etc., in a way that represents the reported differences in time.
What it does mean -- David Johnson ran a 4.40 40-time in 2015...not a 4.50. A 4.50 40-time is really amazing at his size. A 4.40 would have been...well...it should've brought Saquon Barkley-like orgasms and meant DJ as a first-round pick, and more money in his pocket and him not a 3rd-string RB halfway into his rookie season. It means DJ was an elite of the elites...not just elite. Our computer models graded him well and we were the highest in the industry on him in 2015. We would have been more insane at a 4.40 40-time.
My systems/algorithms allow for variation on these things, a +/- factor...but the difference between 4.40 and 4.50, I can't explain it all here...but it's massive at DJs physical size. He was Saquon Barkley before there was Saquon Barkley...and nobody really cared.
Maybe Jon Gruden is right about data and GPSs...
-- We’re following Day-3 of the NFL Combine from start to finish at College Football Metrics. You can catch up on my Day 1 and 2 musings, observations as the events unfolded as well.
We’ll cover Day-4 in the same manner on Monday.
Tuesday the first full, non-QB scouting report and computer model grades and comparisons of the season releases…Mr. Saquon Barkley.
See more of our football work at College Football Metrics – dedicated to the NFL Draft and Dynasty Rookie Draft scouting and valuations all preseason. Celebrating our 7th season covering all things draft. Go to (link): College Football Metrics