Christopher Columbus found America, Paul Revere do the fateful ride, and Chris Johnson to be the fastest male at the NFL combine. All facts, uneven you dig deeper.




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The NFL is complete of quick players. It’s constantly been full of quick players choose Chris Johnson, Calvin Johnson, and also Patrick Peterson. We recognize they’re rapid both due to the fact that they fly across the field every play and also because we have actually at the very least once measured their speed. Even if it is it was the NFL integrate or a pro day, us measure player speed in the 40-yard dash, one of the many recognizable individual drills in sports. Sure, some have actually questioned if the 40 is the ideal measurement of a player’s strong ability, Hey, we’ve even developed entirely new metrics out of the idea. That has always been a good measure the a player’s lengthy speed, though, right?

I’ve to be building and improving my relative Athletic Scores metric because that years on the idea that family member athleticism has actually a much better correlation come player success 보다 a solitary measure the speed. In spite of that, I never ever really wondered about that the 40 to be a great measurement of lengthy speed. It makes sense on the surface, what with it being an yes, really measurement of rate over a long distance. In working through the data, I added in a small tweak to display how countless miles every hour a player runs based upon their 40. It was just a neat little method to present speed in a different way. Once I calculated kris Johnson’s speed in MPH, ns noticed it to be 19.3 MPH. And also that got me thinking. We hear about players hitting optimal speeds that 20 and also 21 MPH every the time, so if kris Johnson’s 4.24, the faster in combine history, was shy that that, how fast are these men really? The answer, of course, is that they are not 4.24 guys. It’s the 4.24 isn’t a an excellent measurement of top speed. For this reason what is?

I decided to watch if us can find a better measurement of top speed, and also it didn’t even take all that long. The generally taken into consideration true that players struggle their height speed prior to they with the 20 garden mark, therefore why can not we just use the critical 20 yards? Calculating that is quite simple. You just take a player’s 40 time, subtract their 20 yard split, and also then division that number native the last 20 yards (or 60 feet if you’re using feet per second like i do). Similar to that, the miles per hour we store hearing around totally made sense. Her 4.4 and 4.3 speed males were hitting 20, 21 MPH in those last 20 yards and the world fell back into order. Something an extremely interesting also shook the end of the data. Some 4.6 and also 4.7 players? few of them were likewise hitting the same and in some instances even quicker marks.

So i calculated chris Johnson’s height speed utilizing this method and it come in in ~ a much much more believable 22.35 MPH. 22 MPH is a lot quicker than the mean player and for the fastest guy in integrate history, the much more fitting. Just you’ve more than likely guessed that his optimal speed isn’t the fastest I have actually recorded, haven’t you? as it transforms out, a whole bunch of football player ran a faster back 20 than Chris Johnson did. Certain there was no rusher quicker over the an initial 10 yards, no one the first 20. But top speed? the last 20 yards? stop look at just a few faster as well as a couple of Lions.




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Miles every Hour over Last 20 Yards that 40

Player 40 MPH Player 40 MPH
Mario Fannin 4.41 24.06
Ben Tate 4.43 22.85
Jahvid Best 4.35 22.72
C.J. Spiller 4.37 22.72
Adrian Peterson 4.41 22.6
Latavius Murray 4.38 22.48
Chris Johnson 4.24 22.35
DeMarco Murray 4.43 22.35
Dwayne Washington 4.48 21.76
Zach Zenner 4.6 21.65
Ameer Abdullah 4.6 21.3
Theo Ridddick 4.68 20.56
40 Times and Feet Per second Kent Lee Platte

While looking over this data, ns couldn’t decide what was an ext interesting. Whether it was exactly how much quicker guys prefer Jahvid finest were contrasted to the remainder of the universe, or just exactly how close in optimal speed someone prefer Ameer Abdullah and Zach Zenner, both 4.6 players, to be to speedsters choose Dwayne Washington. It might take someone choose Ameer Abdullah or a rumbler like Zach Zenner to gain to height speed, if Dwayne Washington access time a similar top speed sooner and simply sustains it. There’s a lot more data because that me come pore end to discover some context for what this measurement deserve to tell us. Because that now, i don’t even have a surname for it, however just wanted to share. Some of the males we think of together quick however slow, choose Abdullah, aren’t yes, really all that slow-moving in state of peak speed. Others we think the as complete burners are an ext dependent on gaining up to speed easily than actual peak speed.