Each year at the NFL Scouting Combine, hundreds of the top NFL Draft prospects from around the nation will converge on Indianapolis to run really fast, lift heavy things, jump a whole bunch and generally do athletic things that you and I cannot do, but will assess and comment on nonetheless. But if there's anybody we can identify with in some way at the combine, it's Rich Eisen of the NFL Network.
This Year's Result
Eisen is not a particularly athletic man, but for the past 10 years, he's been running the 40-yard dash at the NFL Combine. He's been doing it since 2005, when Terrell Davis challenged Eisen to compete in the event. And while he's not exactly competitive with any of the prospects, even the offensive linemen, Eisen has shown improvement over the years.
Despite running the dash in a full suit, he finally posted a time of just under six seconds last year, his 10th time running the 40. Below, we've got a look at all of his official times over the past decade:
|Year||40-yard dash time|
It hasn't been consistent improvement year to year -- his biggest leap was from his first run in 2005 to his second run in 2006. But from there, it got worse for a couple years before it got better. We're not sure if Eisen let all the fame go to his head and he got cocky or what, but he really started to improve in 2010, when he shaved more than 10 seconds off his time and continued to improve up to last year's best-ever showing, which we've got below in .gif form:
You'll notice in the gif above that Eisen runs so fast he loses his pocket square -- and like a true professional, he doesn't stop to pick it up. This year, Eisen will be running the 40-yard dash on Monday, the final day of the combine. But the position class he typically has to compete with, offensive linemen, have already run the 40 and all of them did better than Eisen's best.
The fastest offensive lineman was Ali Marpet of Hobart College at 4.98 seconds, while the slowest was Adam Shead of Oklahoma at 5.74 seconds. Eisen would need to shave off .24 seconds to match that, a feat he's only managed to do in 2006, and that was building on his worst time ever of 6.77 seconds.
This year, Eisen is trying to raise awareness for St. Jude's Children's Research Hospital with the #RunRichRun campaign, which asks people to upload pictures of themselves doing the 40-yard dash. That resulted in Roger Goodell running it in the NFL offices, and putting up a 5.53 time -- much better than Eisen. Of course, that time is unofficial.
You can also bet on Eisen's 40-yard dash time, if that's your thing. You might just need help if that's what you're planning on doing, but with an over/under of 6.05, if you have plenty of confidence in Eisen's abilities, that could be viewed as a generous line.
So this really dumb, yet really awesome thing is probably not going away anytime soon, and the best thing you can do is embrace it.
SB Nation presents: Marcus Mariota torches Jameis Winston in the 40-yard dash