February 28, 2005

His Fastest Sprint was Out the Door: Maurice Clarett may have run himself out of the NFL draft at the scouting combine, clocking 4.82 and 4.7 times in the 40-yard-dash before he quit. Before you cheer, read Tom Friend's sympathetic, contrarian take from ESPN: The Poorly Named Magazine.

posted by rcade to football at 11:57 AM - 13 comments

Wow. I'm no athlete (though I may look it), but that is a surprise. Usually running backs rule the 40. Quitting was another in a series of horrible decisions. Watch his agent drop him in under five seconds, too.

posted by WeedyMcSmokey at 12:23 PM on February 28

see ya in the CFL, Mo.

posted by gspm at 12:36 PM on February 28

Naw, someone will take a chance on him, and he'll get his head on a little straighter, and I'll bet he's gonna become the best 7th Round pick since T.J. Houshmandzadeh. I'm not gonna bet a lot on this, but it wouldn't surprise me.

posted by chicobangs at 01:13 PM on February 28

Good post rcade, I was waiting to hear what happened with this. When I first saw the post I was all set to Clarett-bash. You know, spoiled, self-centered, cheating, not that great anyway, over-rated, etc. After reading the article, I somehow almost feel bad for the guy. Maybe he IS better than he showed at the combine. Clarett may turn out to be the steal of the draft if he can be taken in the latter rounds. I still wouldn't draft him though, I think he's a distraction, like Moss, without the benefits.

posted by mayerkyl at 01:22 PM on February 28

Photoshop Contest. Difficulty: 4.82

posted by mbd1 at 02:04 PM on February 28

The other guy I'm interested in hearing about from the combine is ex-Trojan Mike Williams. Will he still go in the first 5 or 10 picks?

posted by billsaysthis at 02:29 PM on February 28

The attention paid to the 40 yard dash sounds like a Moneyball situation, where the scouts are placing too much emphasis on an unimportant statistic. From his profile on about.com: Clarett ran for 1,237 yards, leading the national champion Buckeyes in rushing as a freshman despite missing all of three games and parts of two others with a shoulder injury. He is also a solid blocker and a dangerous receiving threat out of the backfield. But he can't run the 40! Forget what he demonstrated on an actual football field. As for him quitting midway through the workout: that's a huge problem. Even with all that talent, mental toughness (and intelligence) is crucial.

posted by dusted at 02:31 PM on February 28

dusted: moneyball was one of the first things I thought about too, especially since in practice, football players almost never get to run 40 yards at a time. A 5 or 10 yard dash, or better yet 30 of them over the course of two hours, might be more interesting. That said, football is a little more reasonable about such things in general (it seems to me as an outsider)- if he is going to get dinged, it is probably for the demonstrated lack of focus, small size, and prone-ness to injury more so than the 40 time.

posted by tieguy at 08:21 PM on February 28

What Clarett sounds like he needs is a disciplinarian to grow him up a little bit. He's got a mountain of talent and a wavering sense fo concentration. Maybe Denny Green in Arizona is that guy. There are other places. He'll get a tryout or two. He'd die in the CFL, though. Talk about a place where actual speed is more important than the NFL. Also, there are not many true disciplinarians coaching in the CFL today. Don Matthews, maybe.

posted by chicobangs at 12:00 PM on March 01

I don't like Clarett. However, if the combine had an event where a back had to run against D-line and D-backs and could make 5 to 8 yrds before going down. that would be the test of fire. Clarett proved it in collage. could he do it now? We'll see.

posted by badcab at 12:10 PM on March 01

I like clarett as a athlete, as a person not so much but then again, team's don't always draft on personality,more on productivity. as for him guiting the combine workouts only hurts him in the long run, his times in the 40 means nothing, one of the best WR in the game Jerry Rice had a 4.6-4.7 speed. when clarett ran all over Miami in the championship game no one question his speed, aganist a very fast defense, if he can get his hed on strait he just might be a good one, only time will tell

posted by bones at 12:43 PM on March 01

The 40 tests a pair of attributes that are absolutely crucial in an NFL running back -- explosive start and breakaway speed. Clarett showed neither of these at the combine, but I really don't think it will make that much of a difference. Someone is going to take a flyer on him and Clarett will be a reasonably good running back. I don't think he'll be great, because it takes discipline and heart to do that. With the poor 40s, you get a lousy duo of things you can't coach -- speed and desire. Look for an Erric Rhett-type career.

posted by wfrazerjr at 09:15 PM on March 01

I think the Clarett didn't so much run himself out of the NFL Draft, as kept up the enigma patern of his life. Did he take money or didn't he? Did OSU cheat to get him or didn't they? Too many questions, too many questions, here is my take. 1) He will workout privately for certain unnamed NFL teams who might be willing to expend a 3rd or 4th round pick on a "PROJECT". 2) He would be a good, if his attitude isn't shot, running back for a team that needs a closer. That is if he can prove himself. 3) Lastly, no one knows what is inside this kids head. Only he knows, only he can show them, and that is the bottom line of Maurice Clarett. STLHAMMER

posted by STLHAMMER at 09:43 PM on March 01

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