Posted on June 29, 2019, by Travis Pulver
Back in late May, rumors began to circulate about a rather unique tournament to be held in the weeks ahead—the 40 Yards of Gold Tournament, pitting some of the fastest men in (and formerly in) the NFL against each other in a race.
Fans have often wondered and debated who the think the fastest man in football is. Following the conclusion of the event Saturday night, fans will have a pretty good idea.
When word of the event began to make the rounds online back in May, it was met with equal amounts of skepticism and excitement. Who doesn’t enjoy a good foot race—especially when it is between two world-class athletes?
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So ,with that in mind, it sounded like must-see TV.
However, while all of the participants were quite familiar with the 40-yard dash, a staple of the NFL Combine, Pro Days, and off-season programs at every level of the game, teams would not want their speedsters taking part in such a thing.
You could say ‘it’s only 40 yards.’ But there are guys every year during the combine that suffer injuries while running the 40. Most of the time they are nothing serious (i.e., strained or pulled muscle, etc.). However, they do happen.
No team wants to risk losing a player for any period of time because they ran in some arbitrary foot race. Once the initial announcement was made, several teams likely had a little talk with their player to advice against participating.
Of course, the guys without contracts will look at this as a way to get their name back out there one more time. Should a blazing fast time result in a phone call that could become an opportunity— fantastic.
Some teams probably told guys to drop out. As a result, the field is down to 16 from 24. Fewer runners make for a less compelling event but that also makes it a little easier to pick the winner.
With how the event is organized, offensive players will face off against each other until there is one man left and defensive players will do the same. Those two guys will then face off to decide the winner. The odds on who will win the offensive bracket are as follows (via BetOnline.ag):
- Ted Ginn Jr +250
- Alvin Kamara +300
- Jeff Badet +300
- Marquise Goodwin +500
- Kevin Snead +600
- Richie James +750
- Robby Anderson +1000
- Jacoby Ford +1000
Ginn is known for having incredible straight-line speed. But Alvin Kamara is one of the most elusive guys in the NFL, but that doesn’t matter in a foot race. Surprisingly, Goodwin, a former track athlete and Olympian, is in the middle of the pack.
Long jumpers, like Goodwin, are not necessarily speed demons– but Goodwin is.
On the defensive side, the odds are as follows:
- Jalen Myrick +200
- Donte Jackson +250
- Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie +350
- Terrell SinkField +600
- John Franklin III +700
- Rashard Robinson +800
- Trae Waynes +1000
- Charles James II +1000
There are some fast, current players on the defensive side but the standout of the bunch has to be Myrick, assuming he can still run a 4.28 as he did a couple of years ago at the combine.
But despite his track record, an offensive player is favored to win (-130) over a defensive one (-110).
So–who’s going to win? Well- the smart money may be on the guy with the fastest time on record, Myrick. But it is hard not to get behind a guy like Goodwin (and the payout is bigger).