Ayers at the NFL Combine

Former UCLA linebacker Akeem Ayers tested at the NFL Combine, and his 40-yard dash results leave a bit to be desired: 4.80 and 4.83. Ayers speed was never his biggest selling point – his freak athleticism and strength are – but that’s not a good time for an NFL linebacker.

Ayers will have a chance to improve his times for scouts at UCLA’s pro day, but I wonder how those numbers will affect his draft stock.

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  • INawe

    It would be alright if he wants to come back to UCLA for another year and work on getting faster. ;)

  • 420bruin

    NOD INawe!!

  • gilligan

    I am a big time USC fan and I don’t have a problem saying that he is a very good LB. His game reminds me a lot of Clay Matthews b/c he makes plays from all over the field.
    The forty yards dash is a very overrated stat not wearing pads. Jerry Rice and Emmitt Smith had average 40 times and they turned out alright.

  • BruinBall

    I think he hired an agent already….

  • Anonymous

    Very surprising. I always felt Ayers had good straight line speed, but suspect agility. So running a 4.8 is terrible.

    I always thought he was a borderline 1st/2nd rounder, but this for sure pushed him into the mid 2nd round.

  • UCLA Dynasty

    Marvin Austin ran a 4.88 as a 300 lb D-Lineman. nevertheless, good LBing is more about instincts, getting to the hole and shedding blocks. Based on talent in this year’s draft, I expect Ayers to be a late 1st/early 2nd.

  • Fauxshow

    He’s been dealing w/ turf toe since the Texas game. Since then his speed has dropped off significantly.

  • anon

    being bad at the 40 yard dash is not a death knell. there are plenty of teams hoping that other teams focus on it so that he drops to their position.

    if a linebacker is having to run 40 yards, then it’s too late. TD.

    it’s far more important for burst of speed and change of direction.

    Marcellus Wiley on ESPN Radio was talking about the combine and he said these measured numbers have to be taken in the context of the event. He even compared himself to his mentor, Bruce Smith. He said that his numbers were awesome at the combine, better than his mentor. But when it came time for real football maneuvers (spins, bursts, etc.), Smith did things that were just plain unreal.