There are all kinds of impressive NFL scouting combine performances, even when it comes to a single event, such as the 40-yard dash.
You can marvel at 188-pound Alabama wide receiver Henry Ruggs III running a scalding 4.27-second 40-yard dash. Or perhaps you’re a fan of big men motoring, such as Louisville offensive tackle Mekhi Becton — all 357 pounds of him — running a 5.11.
But you have to marvel at Clemson linebacker Isaiah Simmons, who ran a blistering 4.39 — at 239 pounds. That’s .01 second shy of the modern combine record for linebackers held by Shaquem Griffin, who ran a 4.38 at 227 pounds two years ago (although to be fair, some feel Griffin’s fast time was because of a clock error).
Take a look:
Check out the reaction of the Raiders — who could use a linebacker, by the way — when they saw Simmons’ time.
Simmons also turned in an excellent number on the vertical leap (39 inches) and an even better one (11 feet) in the broad jump.
Not bad for a player who was lightly recruited out of high school in Kansas.
We knew Simmons was going to be a combine star based on the athleticism he displayed in college. But the sub-4.4 time and the jumping numbers pretty much guarantee that the Tigers’ star is going to be a top-10 selection.
And it’s not just because of his athletic traits. Simmons was named first-team Associated Press All-America and ACC Defensive Player of the Year. He played both safety spots, inside and outside linebacker and he covered the slot as well, profiling as the prototype of a modern NFL linebacker. There was no more versatile player in college football last season.
And there might not be a better pure athlete, pound for pound, than Simmons either.
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