Early in the NFL scouting combine, LSU running back Leonard Fournette’s weight was a topic. It was surprising that he was 240 pounds. That’s big for an NFL running back. A 28.5-inch vertical jump wasn’t a positive for Fournette either.
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Then Fournette ran on Friday, and any concerns about him started to dissipate.
Fournette ran a 4.51-second 40-yard dash, which is a blazing time for a back that big. As NFL writer Warren Sharp pointed out on Twitter, that’s the fastest time ever recorded for a running back who weighs 240 pounds or more. Derrick Henry’s 4.54 was the record. Fournette ran 4.52 on his second attempt.
Other running backs were running the 40 on Friday too. Among the other top players at the position, Stanford’s Christian McCaffrey ran a 4.49 (4.59 on his second attempt) and Florida State’s Dalvin Cook ran a 4.5 in both attempts.
Fournette is proving this week what everyone anticipated going in: He is a huge back, a physical marvel and the rare running back who is worth a top-10 pick in the NFL draft. He’ll probably be the first running back selected, though that could change if a team with a high pick prefers Cook’s versatility.
Fournette vs. Cook vs. Elliott
— NFL Network (@nflnetwork) March 3, 2017
A running back’s 40 time shouldn’t be at the top of his résumé going into the draft. And the poor vertical jump could say more about Fournette’s explosiveness than running 40 yards. But Fournette was a phenomenal college player at LSU. The fantastic 40-yard dash time just reinforces his draft stock.
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