The Dallas Cowboys will receive criticism regardless of whom they draft with their first-round pick in the NFL Draft. The selection CeeDee Lamb is the last pick in recent memory that received universal praise given the sheer value Dallas got nabbing the then-Oklahoma receiver in the middle of Round 1.
Even the Micah Parsons pick was scrutinized. Some folks even believe the Cowboys lucked into Parsons since top cornerbacks Jaycee Horn and Patrick Surtain were taken back-to-back at eighth and ninth overall.
Others argue Dallas should’ve drafted OT Rashawn Slater, who went one pick after Parsons, given Tyron Smith’s age and durability concerns.
Of course, the Cowboys hit a grand slam with Parsons. That shouldn’t be a surprise considering how he performed at Penn State’s pro day. Though he skipped the 2020 season amid the COVID pandemic, Parsons reminded everyone at the showcase why he was considered a high first-round pick before opting out.
His historic 40-yard dash time was all the evidence scouts needed.
Where did Cowboys star Micah Parsons’ 40-yard dash time rank among linebackers?
That’s not a typo, folks. Parsons clocked in at 4.39 seconds. Shaquem Griffin owns the record for fastest 40 time by a linebacker (4.38 seconds in 2018), though it’s worth noting Griffin is 20 pounds lighter and a couple inches shorter than Parsons.
In terms of the 2021 class, though, Parsons’ 40 time was the fastest amongst linebackers, and tied Penn State teammate Odafe Oweh for the fastest time for defensive players. Incredibly, another one of Parsons’ Nittany Lion teammates, Shaka Toney, finished second among LBs with a 4.55-second sprint.
Rounding out the top-five were Purdue’s Derrick Barnes (4.57 seconds), Georgia’s Monty Rice (4.57 seconds) and Missouri’s Nick Bolton (4.59 seconds).
While respectable times for the position, they pale in comparison to Parsons’ blistering 4.39 seconds. Mind you, the Cowboys star measured in at Penn State’s pro day at 6-foot-3 and 246 pounds. For comparison’s sake, Griffin is 6-foot and 227 pounds, and Toney is 6-foot-2 and 238 pounds.
Forget comparing Parsons to linebackers and defenders, though. Remember when he beat Tyreek Hill, who’s long held the mantle of the NFL’s fastest player, in a 40-yard sprint at the Pro Bowl games last year?
Nothing about that makes sense.
Parsons’ 4.39 seconds tied for the eighth-fastest time for all players. He also posted a 34-inch vertical, pumped out 19 reps on the bench press, a 2.59 20-yard split, 1.53 10-yard split, a 126-inch broad jump, and a 6.9 in the three-cone drill for good measure.
Tune in to next week’s combine to see if any linebackers top Parsons. The smart money says that won’t happen.