Monday, February 28, 2011

How important is Herzlich's slow 40 time?

After impressing NFL teams Sunday in the interviews, Mark Herzlich ran a disappointing 40 time on Monday. Unofficially it was a 4.92. As Mike Reiss says, NFL linebacker prospects would like to run a 4.7 or better. But for Mark's purposes, one second doesn't mean much in the whole process. If an NFL team wants to draft him, it will be about who he is and what he might become. It won't be about how fast he is right now.

Most NFL teams are going to pass on Herzlich. These are the same teams that would pass on a guy with a knee injury, character issues, or if he were undersized. It has nothing to do with cancer. It has to do with risk. Mark's history and the rod in his leg inspire many of us, but to a team in need of help, he represents a player who might get hurt again.

Conversely there will be teams that have already decided to draft Mark if he becomes available in a slot that they deem valuable. They'll view him as a character guy who will learn the system quickly and contribute right away. They are also measuring the risk. Mark may get hurt but no more so than any draft pick. If he gets hurt again or has further complications, they will just wash their hands of like they would with any other late round "flyer" pick.

Mark will be on an NFL roster next fall. We know he won't get the big payday that he might have received pre-cancer, but as this point he just needs one team to give him a shot.

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At 7:40 AM, Blogger mod34b said...

Too bad Herzy's time is so slow. An off day? Probably not. it kind of explains last year when he was obviously a little slower than before

Seems like he can't make an NFL roster at that speed - which is close to the speed of 340 NT BJ Raji (he ran 5.02)

In contrast, Another LB prospect, Von Miller, ran a 4.46...

At 9:39 AM, Blogger Ben said...

Not sure it's fair to compare Herzy's 40 time to a potential top 5 pick...

If he doesn't get drafted, he will undoubtedly get picked up somewhere as an undrafted free agent. Then we just have to hope like hell that he shows enough in the preseason to make a squad.

At 11:53 AM, Blogger EasyRider said...

Just to add some context, a second round draft pick from last year, Brandon Spike, ran a 5.00 at the combine. Inside linebackers, which I could see Herzy projecting to at the NFL, don't have to be straight line burners

At 1:26 PM, Blogger mod34b said...

Actually, seems (strangely) from NFL data that the OLBs are a little slower than ILBs (need to react quicker to ball in less space/time???).

And the 4.92 is not as horrible as I thought. This years AFC PRO Bowl OLB's 40 times are 4.85; 4,78; 4.81 and 4.70.

At 2:07 PM, Blogger Nick said...

He's too good and too smart, in my opinion, to not get drafted before the 5th round by a team with a smart front office and a good training staff. As a Pats fan, especially considering the team's gaping need at OLB (and in turn, assuming they've already drafted an OLB in round 1 or 2), I don't think there's anything wrong with taking a flyer on him in round 4 or 5.

Re: Von Miller, that dude's a freakshow. Top 5 pick.

Also, ridiculously, ridiculously huge basketball game tonight.

At 2:24 PM, Blogger Ben Litchfield said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

At 4:01 PM, Blogger Herzylax22 said...

For what it's worth, Herzy was up all night the night before with food poisoning - along with all the unpleasant side effects

At 4:23 PM, Blogger Bob said...

No excuses. He is an OLB.

At 4:38 PM, Blogger mod10aeagle said...

... or maybe he's a DE.

At 6:01 PM, Blogger Scott said...

I was hoping he's run in the 4.7 range, but was fearful we'd see 4.8's. 4.9 is a bit surprising, and upsetting.

In the last few games, I definitely saw a big improvement in his short area quickness, particularly when he launched his body. He was more explosive, and in on more lays, and in better position to lay big hits and tip balls. However, I never did she his full, fluid stride return when chasing down plays.

As a result, I still think he's extremely valuable if used in a system to defend part of the field. He plays quick in space and traffic.

And unlike a lot of LBs who fall off the draft board when they post 4.8/4.9 times (like Atkins), let's not forget that Herzy is huge. 6'4, 250, very long, and very strong. The point being, he can play the positions that don't require stride-for-stride running.

The reality is some team is going to love getting him in the 4th - 6th, depending on how his pro days go. But at least Herzy has real film to show production, separate from any feel - good stories.


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