After clocking a 4.48 (Gabriel) and a 4.47 (West) into a strong south wind (approximately 20-25 mph), the scouts from 11 teams assembled asked those two and the others on hand for the tryout to run with the wind. Harkless ran first and went from a 4.72 into the wind to a 4.53 with the wind. After a few others ran, Gabriel settled into his stance and blew down the field to record an unofficial time of 4.27 seconds, collapsing on the grass at the end of the run and almost tumbling into a blocking sled.
A few moments later, West lined up for his run, and he, too, turned in an unofficial 4.27 with the wind, times that left the scouts and those assembled checking the stopwatches of others to make sure they all had close to the same time.
The above article was sent to us on Twitter by FFPC co-founder Dave Gerczak. It’s interesting information at a minimum and possibly highly actionable. Not mentioned in the above excerpt, but mentioned in the original article is that Charcandrick West also backed up his blazing 40 time with strong showings in the broad jump and vertical which probably confirms his explosiveness. He jumped 41 inches in the vertical and 130 inches in the broad.
However, the most interesting thing that I found when looking into West was that he caught almost 3 passes per game. That’s good. It’s also the kind of thing that I think makes him worth looking at further. My model projecting receptions for a young running back takes two primary inputs, a player’s 3 cone, and the player’s receptions per game in college. West didn’t do great in the 3 cone, logging a 7.08, but as Dave Gerczak points out in his original tweet, the wind could have played a factor there. Also, a player’s 40 time correlates with receiving yards per game in the NFL. Because West is in that sweet spot for RBs in the 200-210 pound range, has a record of catching the ball, and also has a good amount of speed, he could be a legitimate sleeper as a PPR back. Here is a table showing West’s stats from last season:
Based on my first pass through West’s data I would still likely have him behind Terrance West and Jerick McKinnon among the small school backs. The area where Terrance is really ahead of McKinnon and Charcandrick is in total carries. He’s already shown he can handle the pounding required of a high usage back, whereas McKinnon and Charcandrick both carried the ball fewer than 20 times per game. Total usage is fairly important piece of my RB model. I should also note that in estimating West’s forty time, I am cutting the baby between the wind hampered effort and the wind aided effort. Let’s call it a 4.37 for the purposes of being prudent.
Here’s a table that breaks down how you might think about Charcandrick’s various components:
|Good||Not So Good||Bad|
|Speed||Total usage||3 Cone|
However, while I would call Charcandrick West’s overall projection mixed, I think the really important thing is to note that he probably could be an NFL RB just based on size, speed and some production information. I don’t think his numbers make him an obvious sleeper, but maybe that’s not always required. Sometimes just knowing a few facts about a player will be enough for you to pull the trigger on him a week early. Maybe he ends up as a 3rd or 4th RB on a depth chart and there are a few injuries in front of him. We know enough at this point to believe that he would be a very interesting name if that occurred. Sometimes just that sliver of information is enough to put you ahead of your league-mates.
Taylor Gabriel is also mentioned in the article although at 167 pounds he would have to run a 3 second 40 before I would probably look at drafting him.