|TJ Graham reps NC State with a Wolfpack sign. (Will Brinson, CBSSports.com)|
INDIANAPOLIS -- Wide receiver T.J. Graham produced loud numbers -- compiling 1,713 total yards on receptions (46) and kick returns (44) -- for NC State in 2011. But he'll make a bigger noise over the weekend if he follows up on a guarantee he made at the combine to run a sub-4.3 second 40-yard dash.
On Friday, we asked Graham what he expected his time to be over the weekend.
"Sub 4.3," Graham told CBSSports.com.
Thinking we might have misheard, we asked him to confirm that number. Since, as Rob Rang noted on yesterday, only 10 guys have gone sub-4.3 since 2000.
"You guaranteeing that?"
"Yup," a smiling Graham said.
40 times aren't the end-all, be-all obviously. But look at the wideouts on Rang's list of players who have gone under 4.3 seconds: Jacoby Ford, Darrius Heyward-Bey, Jerome Mathis, Mike Wallace and Johnny Knox. That's a reasonably productive group of guys; if you want to argue that speed doesn't really count for anything, you'd have some work to do.
None of this means Graham is going to vault up draft boards if he posts a low number. And he could fall if he whiffs on the guarantee (especially with the Raiders not having a first-round pick this year). But Graham, the 219th overall prospect according to Rang, could certainly leapfrog some of the 27 wide receivers ranked ahead of him if he goes particularly low over the weekend.
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