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:
— Clemson Football (@ClemsonFB) March 1, 2020
Check out the reaction of the Raiders — who could use a linebacker, by the way — when they saw Simmons’ time.
— NFL Network (@nflnetwork) March 1, 2020
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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