Notable Buffalo Bills Combine Performances


Notable Buffalo Bills Combine Performances

The NFL combine starts today and goes through February 29th. There have been several notable Buffalo Bills combine performances since 2006 and we will explore some of them in this article.

Up until 1990, the NFL timed the forty-yard dash at the combine by hand. Many people question the reported times of the players because it was not done by computers. Deion Sanders and Bo Jackson are two examples of players who recorded great times but don’t get as much credit for them because they were hand timed.

You can find the entire schedule of combine events here. The players workout in several groups. Groups one through six include offensive and special teams positions. Groups seven through eleven include the defensive positions.

On Wednesday and Thursday of this week, the players will be subjected to interviews. On Friday, the players will start participating in on-field events and they will continue for each position until the combine ends on Monday, February 29th. Now let’s take a look at some of the Buffalo Bills who excelled recently in these on-field events.

In 2006, Manny Lawson’s vertical leap measured 39.5 inches which was the third best among the 2006 defensive lineman. In the forty-yard dash, his time of 4.43 was faster than any other lineman had run that year. In the sixty-yard shuttle, his time of 11.08 was also the fastest of any defensive lineman. Since 2006, no defensive lineman has had a faster time in either the forty-yard dash or the sixty-yard shuttle than Lawson.

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Mario Williams also had a tremendous combine performance in 2006. His performance was one of the many reasons the Houston Texans drafted him over Reggie Bush with the first overall pick that year. He finished second in the vertical jump amongst defensive lineman with a score of 40.5 inches. Mark Anderson won the category for the position with a jump of 42 inches. Williams additional notable achievements were that he finished sixth in forty-yard dash time, sixth in the broad jump, tenth in the three-cone drill, and eleventh in the 20-yard shuttle. Pretty impressive for a guy who weighed about 295 pounds at the time.

In 2010, C.J. Spiller ran the second fastest forty-yard dash time amongst the running backs with a time of 4.37. In 2012, Cordy Glenn had the sixth fastest forty-yard dash time and eighth best bench press with 31 reps at 225 pounds amongst offensive tackles. Also in 2012, Stephon Gilmore finished with the third best forty-yard dash time for cornerbacks with a time of 4.40. Bills cornerback Ron Brooks was one of the two players who bested Gilmore when he ran a time of 4.37 that same year.

In 2011, Tyrod Taylor dominated the workouts when compared to the other quarterbacks. He had the top performance among quarterbacks in the forty-yard dash (4.51), the twenty-yard shuttle (4.09), and the broad jump (10’6″). He finished second in both the vertical jump (37.5″) and the three-cone drill (6.78). His workout was so impressive that since 2006, his broad jump is the third best of any quarterback while his forty-yard dash time and vertical jump were good for fifth best at his position in that time frame.

Marquise Goodwin proved his nickname “flash” was indeed accurate when he ran a 4.27 forty-yard dash time in 2013. This was the fastest time for all combine entrants that year and is considered the 3rd fastest time since 2006 by Chris Johnson has the fastest time since 2006 when he ran it in 4.24 in 2008. Dri Archer is the only other player to run it faster than Goodwin when he ran it in 4.26 in 2014. Goodwin’s speed is not shocking considering he used to run track and field. He even qualified for the 2012 United States Olympic team in the long jump event.

According to, Ronald Darby had the second fastest time for cornerbacks and the seventh best time overall at the 2015 combine with a forty-yard dash time of 4.38. Trae Waynes was the fastest cornerback with a time of 4.31, while J.J. Nelson was the fastest of all the combine entrants with a time of 4.28. Darby had the seventh highest vertical jump of all the participants and the second highest jump at cornerback with a height of 41.5 inches. Byron Jones was the only cornerback to jump higher than Darby.

Related Story: NFL Combine: Why is it so Important?

Over the years, the Buffalo Bills have had many players who have used their raw athletic abilities at the combine to increase their projected draft position. The combine is one of those events that can really push a player up or down in the draft. It’s hard to fathom why NFL teams put so much stock into one workout performance rather than a career worth of college tape, but that’s just the nature of the beast. A players’ combine performance can heavily affect what round they are drafted in. With the stakes so high for these young men, the combine has become a must-watch offseason event.