Florida cornerback Jalen Tabor likely can say goodbye to the first round of the NFL draft.
Tabor ran an awful 40-yard dash time at Florida’s Pro Day on Tuesday. Tabor’s unofficial times varied from 4.73 to 4.77 seconds.
That’s glacial for a cornerback. For comparison, Auburn defensive end Carl Lawson was clocked in 4.67 seconds at 261 pounds at last month’s NFL Scouting Combine. Tabor ran a disappointing 4.62 at the combine three weeks ago in Indianapolis.
When Tabor declared for the draft, many analysts believed he could be a top-10 pick based off his impressive film. Now, the question is whether Tabor will be among the first five UF defenders selected.
Linebacker Jarrad Davis, cornerback Quincy Wilson, safety Marcus Maye, defensive tackle Caleb Brantley and linebacker Alex Anzalone could be selected before Tabor. They all had solid to superior performances Tuesday.
The critical factor here isn’t that Tabor ran a slow time. It’s what the slow times says about his preparation. The conclusion likely to be reached by NFL decision-makers won’t be that Tabor is this slow; his film indicates he isn’t. Rather, the question will be how seriously he is taking the draft process.
To his credit, Tabor looked better in agility drills. When he met with reporters afterward, he dismissed his 40 times by saying “just press play” regarding his game film. But that will only go so far. The elite corners in this draft have excellent tape and excellent workouts.
Tabor’s time in Indianapolis should’ve scared him straight. It isn’t uncommon for players to run slow at the combine, then make a big jump at their pro day. Teams generally then look past the slow combine time and the damage is controlled.
Tabor had three weeks to increase the intensity of his training. He obviously didn’t.
That begs the question of how much structure Tabor requires. He was suspended in relation to drug tests at Florida. Can teams trust him out of season when they can’t have any contact with him?
Tabor ran his first 40 in baggy shorts and a loose-fitting long sleeve shirt. He then took off the shirt for his second try and didn’t look fit.
There was a huge physical difference in the way Tabor looked compared to Davis and Maye.
The final pick of the first round last year received a signing bonus of more than $4 million. It will be next to impossible for a team to be willing to hand that kind of money to Tabor now.
© 2016, gridironnow.com. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.