Technology Tries to Embarrass Johnny Manziel in this 40-Yard Dash Video

Johnny Football is faster than this looks.
Johnny Football is faster than this looks.
Screen grab from YouTube

The 2014 NFL Scouting Combine ends today, but for all intents and purposes (Texans-related, at least), it ended on Monday.

Four whirlwind days going back to last Friday, and when all was said and done, ostensibly very little seemed to resolve itself (although behind closed doors, who the hell knows; maybe Bill O'Brien made a love commotion with one of the guys at the top of their big board), and although O'Brien and Rick Smith made it sound like their list of possible top overall picks was still a long one, best guess here is that it's a fairly tight list -- Johnny Manziel, Blake Bortles, Teddy Bridgewater and Jadeveon Clowney.

At Lucas Oil Field, four men entered, four men came out. Nobody got pinned. Everyone is still alive.

But did we learn anything new?

Answer: Not really.

The combine mostly confirmed things we already knew, specifically that Johnny Manziel is blessed with the fastest feet and the biggest hands of the three quarterbacks, and Jadeveon Clowney might be a superhero -- granted, a superhero who sheepishly catches bad guys only when he really feels like it, but a superhero nonetheless.

Manziel ran an official 40-yard dash of 4.68, which was pretty good. The best among the quarterbacks. Clowney ran a 4.53 40-yard dash, which was faster than 29 of the wide receivers in Indianapolis.

Of the guys in the mix for the Texans with the top overall pick, Manziel and Clowney are clearly the two freakiest athletes, although admittedly Manziel's freakiness generally requires 11 defenders on the field for him to juke and weave through. Clowney is just a freak by himself.

That's why this video that surfaced after Clowney's 40-yard dash yesterday is a little unfair to my man Johnny Football...

Computer generated one-on-one races are pretty interesting, especially this one because of who it involves. Naturally, when this thing hit the web, the immediate reaction was twofold:

1. Um, Clowney is a cyborg.

2. Hey, maybe Manziel isn't that fast (even though he ran a 4.68).

See, I would argue, if anything, this video shows well for Manziel. Let's face it, if some non-college football fan walked up to Clowney and Manziel and was told that these two are going to race, they'd expect Clowney to win by about ten yards. I mean, one guy looks like he was sent here from another planet, and the other guy is a pair of horn-rimmed glasses and a pocket protector away from being a Tri Lamb.

In fact, if Vegas were to put a line on these two without knowing one was the Heisman Trophy winner from a year ago (and honestly, if you didn't know either guy, which one would you guess won the Heisman?), they'd probably put it at least "CLOWNEY -0.5 seconds."

So given that Manziel was within 0.15 seconds, I'd say he covered the spread!


Listen to Sean Pendergast on SportsRadio 610 from 2 p.m. to 6 p.m. weekdays. Also, follow him on Twitter at

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