In the NFL, when all else is equal, teams try to find the biggest, strongest, fastest, most explosive players that they can. Typically, you don't find someone who checks every single one of those boxes, so you try to maximize them as best as possible. Sometimes, though, a player ticks all the boxes.
That's what happened Saturday with West Virginia wide receiver Bryce Ford-Wheaton. Ford-Wheaton measured 6-foot-4 and tipped the scales at 221 pounds. That's a big, big man -- even for a wide receiver. But Ford-Wheaton isn't just big. He's also fast. And explosive.
Ford-Wheaton ran the 40-yard dash in a blistering 4.38 seconds, the third-fastest time among wide receivers, as of this writing. And in the vertical leap, Ford-Wheaton jumped 41 inches, the top mark for the position.
Being able to run that fast and jump that high, while being that size, is extremely rare. How rare, you ask? So rare that since 2003, Ford-Wheaton is one of just three players to be that big, that fast, and that explosive. The only two other players to check in at least 6-4, run sub-4.40 seconds in the 40, and jump at least 40 inches are Seattle Seahawks stars DK Metcalf and Tariq Woolen.
Per @richeisen on @nflnetwork just now, since 2003 only two players 6'3+ had jumped 40'+ in the vertical and ran a sub-4.4 40 a the Combine.— Alex Barth (@RealAlexBarth) March 4, 2023
Bryce Ford-Wheaton now joins them.
NFL.com's Next Gen Stats account noted the similarities between the size and athleticism profiles of Ford-Wheaton and Metcalf.
West Virginia WR Bryce Ford-Wheaton has a similar size and athleticism profile to DK Metcalf.— Next Gen Stats (@NextGenStats) March 4, 2023
Ford-Wheaton and Metcalf are the only players at their position to weigh at least 220 lbs, jump more than 40" in the vertical, and run a sub-4.40 40 at the combine since 2003. pic.twitter.com/nk93gZQFqv
I suppose we should get ready for Ford-Wheaton to be the newest member of the Seahawks when late April rolls around? He's currently the No. 251 prospect in our NFL Draft Rankings here at CBSSports.com, but perhaps his combine showing will propel him further up the board and potentially into the middle rounds of the draft.