Corey Grant is F-A-S-T, as his 40-yard dash times during Auburn’s Pro Day indicated.
There is fast, then very fast.
And there’s Corey Grant.
Repeating: Corey Grant ran 4.19, 4.24 and 4.27 in his three 40-yard dash attempts. Had Grant run those during last month’s NFL Combine in Indianapolis, any of the three would have broken the 4.28 time of Jets running back Chris Johnson, who set the mark in 2007.
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Yes, all three times are unofficial. Officially, it doesn’t matter: Cory Grant is a very, very fast man.
The money question is how Grant’s Olympic-caliber speed translates into avoiding defenders on the next level. History has given us plenty of stories of players whose ability to bust the sound barrier over the course of 40 yards resulted in nothing more than just intriguing weapons on EA Sports’ Madden video game series (see Candidate, Trung).
Grant is ranked as the 30th running back available in next month’s draft, according to nfldraftscout.com. At this point, he projects as nothing more than a priority free agent, yet Tuesday’s blistering 40 times will raise more than a few eyebrows.
The Alabama transfer wasn’t used extensively last season, as Cameron Artis-Payne and Nick Marshall accounted for a huge bulk of Auburn’s carries. Grant rushed for 334 yards on 55 carries, averaging 6.4 yards per crack. He also caught ten passes for 92 yards and scored four combined touchdowns.
At 5’9, 201 pounds, Grant doesn’t have the size to be a consistent inside runner, yet in the wide-open offensive age in the NFL, Grant’s speed would be a huge asset if he showed to be a reliable receiver out of the backfield. He will also get an extensive look as a return specialist, a role he handled last season when he averaged just over 22 yards per kickoff return.
Grant also had a 37-inch vertical jump, a 10’4 broad jump along with 22 reps in the bench press.
With a host of NFL personnel men (including Patriots coach Bill Belichick) in attendance, Grant has certainly put his name into the mix of perhaps much more than getting a phone call shortly after the draft ends. Tuesday’s breakout performance bolsters Grant’s chances of being selected, along with putting him in front of the line when it comes to fastest rookies in this summer’s version of the Madden video game, which is slated to come out in August.
Here’s a video of the run where Grant unofficially hits the 4.27 mark.
(h/t College Spun)
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