Speed kills, they say, and perhaps in no sport is that truer than the National Football League (NFL). In today’s offensive-minded NFL climate, wide receivers who can stretch the field and flip a game on its head with one play are amongst the most valued players. Cornerbacks who can guard the NFL’s fastest receivers able to do that are nearly as highly valued.
But selecting these players is often a high-priced game of chance, as picking a player based too much on only measurable has gotten many a team into serious trouble. The 40-yard dash can become a bedazzling stat for some scouts, and sometimes, it shows a player is worth the hype. More often, however, it proves the fact that combine measurable just don’t predict future on-field success in the cutthroat league that is the NFL. Bearing that in mind, check out the fastest NFL players who turned out to be busts via USA TODAY.
20. LaMichael James – RB, San Francisco 49ers:
James was another track star who could not cut the mustard in the NFL. He had a highly decorated college career at the University of Oregon and ran a 4.45 40 at the 2013 NFL combine. It wasn’t exactly the fastest of all-time, but his collegiate tape was tantalizing enough to take a chance on him.
The San Francisco 49ers did so in the second round and immediately regretted their decision. He was a bust in his rookie year and requested to be released from the team early in the 2014 season. He signed with the Dolphins but was eventually released early in the 2015 season, flaming out of the NFL as a huge bust.