NFL might do away with 40-yard dash at combine

Will we no longer see quarterbacks like Jameis Winston run the 40?

Brian Spurlock/Brian Spurlock-USA TODAY Sports

Could the 40-yard dash become a thing of the past at the NFL Combine?

Matt Birk, the NFL’s director of player development, hinted at the league making changes to the testing drills that have become a staple to the annual event.

"That’s a project we’ll be working on this offseason," Birk told ESPN on Friday. "Once we look at the data that was gathered in-game this year, it may be important to know how fast a wide receiver or defensive back can go 60 yards. Maybe for an offensive lineman it’s only 20 yards.

"We can actually see that in-game: How far are these guys running? What are the real or improved measures of importance and value as it relates to evaluating players and whether or not they should be drafted in the first round or the sixth round?"

The NFL has used these drills to measure prospects for decades. But Birk thinks it’s time for a different approach.

"We run the 40-yard dash in Indianapolis. Why? The only reason anyone can ever give you is, that’s how it’s always been done," Birk said.