Updated: Mar 11, 2022
The way the 2022 class was being regarded in dynasty fantasy football circles may have been flipped on its head by the 2022 NFL Combine. Eight receivers came out of the combine with sub 4.4 official 40 times. For the running backs, we are seeing some of the top prospects showing out and others posting numbers that demand a closer look. Isiah Pacheco and Pierre Strong Jr. are just two of the prospect whose 40 time says, "look here!" We will take a look at some of the measurables and revisit the previous RBV Top-10 post to see how these numbers may change the rankings/tiers.
Breece Hall - #1
Breece Hall solidified his spot as the top running back with an official 4.38s 40, 40" vertical (1/2" shy of LaDanian Tomlinson's vertical), and a 10'6" broad jump at 217 pounds confirms a lot of the on-field athletic ability we have seen on tape. Based on the lack of results at NFL.com, running backs skipped the 3-cone, 20-yard shuttle, and 60-yard shuttle. Perhaps they want the tape to speak for their change of direction. Honestly, this makes a lot of sense since those drills lack real game simulation to measure decision-making speed.
Hall's 40 time is nice and we should be comforted if we already thought he was fast or excited if you weren't sure of his speed. With that said, the time we should truly be interested in for any running back is the 10-yard split. This time can help us confirm/refute the athletic ability that contributes to burst. Unfortunately, this is not published officially by the NFL in a timely fashion, so we leaned on PFF's Combine Winners and Losers by the Numbers: Offensive Positions article. Hall's burst was confirmed with a 1.54s 10-yard split.
Kenneth Walker III - #2
Kenneth Walker III logged a 4.38s 40-yard dash solidifying confidence in the long speed he showed on tape. Walker's 10-yard split came in at 1.49s confirming the burst we saw on tape. He also logged a 122" broad jump and 34" vertical which are solid numbers. He moves up in this tier, but not because of the strength of his 40 time or 10-yard split. Walker's upgrade has come by way of downgrading another prospect. Even still, Walker was worth being up here, and may well be considered a 1B to Hall's 1A.
Dameon Pierce - #3
Pierce's drop in tier is a reflection of what is expected of NFL teams' reaction to his performance. There is still belief in him, given the evidence on tape and his RBV-ASR scores in the various schemes. Pierce posted a 4.59 40-yard dash which could hurt his stock, and there aren't many names that stick out historically around that particular measurement. There is one name that came up: Le'Veon Bell. Pierce is not Bell, but his name was simply brought up to remind us that a 4.59s is not necessarily a disqualifier of a top-end career for a running back prospect. His 10-yard split was 1.51s is intriguing confirming his burst. He participated in the bench press (21 reps), broad jump (119"), and vertical (34.5") as well. All solid numbers, but these don't work against him.
Brian Robinson Jr. - #4
Robinson ended up testing within expectations. He posted a 4.53s 40 (1.59s 10-yd split), a 30" vertical, and 119" broad jump. He really didn't help or hurt his stock, and there is nothing here to invoke a re-evaluation of the tape.
Rachaad White - #5
Rachaad White moves up after posting a 4.48s 40-yard dash (1.59s 10-yard split), 38" vertical, and a 125" broad jump. This serves to confirm the athleticism on tape. White still has concerns in the areas of blocking and those elements that cap his upside in the passing game. He moves up due to a lack of information gained for Isaiah Spiller and an unexpected 4.6s 40 from Tyler Allgeier.
Isaiah Spiller - #6
Spiller skipped the 40-yard dash, but the events he participated in did him a disservice with a 114" broad jump and a 30" vertical. According to his agent, he was participating with an injury. An abductor issue would at least be uncomfortable and is reasonable to expect limitations in his ability. A good pro day could alleviate any concerns caused by this disappointing showing. It is very curious that he participated in any event other than the interviews given the injury.
James Cook - #7
James Cook is a new running back on this list, but since the last top-10, his tape and RBV data have been reviewed. He profiles extremely well in Zone concepts and he is a hell of a pass catcher. Posting a 4.42s in the 40, all but confirms the very good home run speed we see on tape. His 1.55s 10-yard split gives comfort in the evaluation of his burst. The vertical jump was solid (33"), but we can look at the broad jump as a partial confirmation of his explosiveness at 124", good for 6th in this RB class. He may continue to rise up this list as pro day results come in and we eventually learn his landing spot. He really seems to have the traits necessary for a valuable offensive weapon.
Zamir White - #8
Zamir White rises up one tier and one spot. Plain and simple, the 4.4s 40 time (1.5s 10-yard split), is believable enough to view his burst and long speed more positively. His explosiveness and power get confirmation from the second-best broad jump among participating RBs at 128". On the other hand, 33.5" vertical was a middling number. Not low enough to hurt or help him. None of this erases his injury history, so these combine results won't help him leapfrog anyone. The draft landing spot will be the bigger mover for White.
Tyler Allgeier - #9
Tyler Allgeier's combine was somewhat of a mixed bag as far as confirming elements of his tape. The 4.6s 40 (1.59s 10-yard split) gives the evaluation of "good" homerun speed some pause, but given the variance we see between combine metrics and field speed, maybe we chalk this up to a poor run. During the RBV evaluation, there was mention of how his Outside Zone success was impacted by the frequent execution of Switch Read plays. These unconventional plays put him in advantageous situations that can trick the eyes a bit when regarding his speed. He did put up a solid vertical (33") and a good broad jump (120"). The latter, gives some confidence in the evaluation of his burst on film.
Kyren Williams - #10
Williams did not help his stock during the combine. At his size (5'9", 194 pounds) the 40-time (4.65s, 1.62s 10-yard split) creates a conflict with what was seen on tape. Middling numbers in the vertical (32") and a lower-end broad jump (116") didn't help him confirm any of the explosiveness either. This is one of those situations where we await the pro day to see if maybe there was an issue with combine preparation. None of these measurements effect his vision, agility, or pass-catching ability, so a solid pro day will have him climbing these ranks again.