Joe Haden Down, Eric Berry Up

This week at the NFL Scouting Combine, Tennessee safety Eric Berry said he was the best player in the entire draft.  Meanwhile, Florida cornerback Joe Haden was a hot topic around here when it was suggested he could be a fit for the Chiefs at No. 5.

Today on the field in Indianapolis, Berry backed up his words while Haden probably cost himself a lot of money.

The former Volunteer ran his two 40 times in an impressive 4.46 and 4.40.  To put that in perspective of pure speed, last year Percy Harvin ran a 4.37.

Meanwhile, Haden disappointed with his numbers: 4.57 and 4.60.  Again, for perspective, last year’s top cornerback — Malcolm Jenkins — fell out of the top 10 after running 4.53 during his pre-draft workout.

It was hard to argue against Berry going in the top 5 before, but now he would seem to be a lock to be one of the first players draft.

A poor 40 time doesn’t make-or-break big time prospects, but I think Daniel Jeremiah from MoveTheSticks put it perfectly on Twitter shortly after Haden ran the 40:

Haden is really good on tape but his 40 time is going to scare people.

He will still be a very rich man come April, but it’s probably now safe to stop thinking the Chiefs might pull Haden into the top 5.

When it comes to evaluating players I would much rather rely on what they have done on the field and when you do that both Berry and Haden belong at the top of every draft board.  But the reality of today’s NFL is that these times do matter and unless Haden can put together a couple 40 times in the world of 4.4 at the Florida pro day he isn’t likely to come off the board until 10-15.

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