INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. – Most expected Miami wide receiver Phillip Dorsett to be the fastest man at the 2015 NFL Scouting Combine. He was – posting a time of 4.33 seconds in the first wide receiver group – before being topped by UAB's J.J. Nelson and his time of 4.29 seconds.
The 5-foot-10, 156-pound Blazer was the Alabama State Champion in the 100-meter and 200-meter during high school. He's the smallest receiver at the NFL combine since Brandon Banks (149 pounds) in 2010. It's a neat moment for a UAB football program that has been discontinued.
For Dorsett, the pass catcher with a track background torched through his two runs, posting times of 4.35 (with a small stumble) in his first attempt and 4.33 in his second.
As impressive as the time was for Dorsett, the record-breaking hype was overblown. He wasn't close to former Titans Chris Johnson's laser-timed record of 4.24 in 2008.
Auburn's Sammie Coates, the man many thought could challenge Dorsett was still impressive at 4.45 and 4.43 but was nowhere near Dorsett. Georgia wide receiver Chris Conley, a fairly unknown name going into the combine, placed second with a time of 4.35 seconds.
Other standouts included Alabama's Amari Cooper, who posted times of 4.43 and 4.42. Cooper needed to showcase his vertical speed with scouts already aware of his polished route running. West Virginia's Kevin White was maybe the biggest surprise in the 40, posting blazing times of 4.35 and 4.36 in his two runs. Most analysts think of Cooper and White as the top two receivers in the draft and they proved why on Saturday.
Missouri's Dorial Green-Beckham ran 4.50 and 4.49, impressive times for a player weighing in at 237 pounds. In comparison, Mike Evans ran 4.53 last year at 231 pounds. Evans went seventh overall to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in the 2014 NFL Draft. Both DGB and Evans are listed at 6-foot-5.
For the quarterbacks, UCLA's Brett Hundley impressed at 4.63, only to be outdone by Marcus Mariota, who ran times of 4.52 and 4.56. Jameis Winston kept his times just under five seconds at 4.97 and 4.99. The 40-yard dash was much more of an affirmation of Mariota's athleticism than it was any indictment on Winston as a prospect.