Former Texas Longhorns wide receiver Marquise Goodwin is one of best athletes that you may have never heard of. When given the opportunity — opportunity which was much more rare than it should have been during his time on the Forty Acres — Goodwin showcased the electric athletic ability that made him one of the world’s best long jumpers, and as it goes, now an NFL combine record holder.
Goodwin had claimed in the past few days that his goal at the 2012 NFL Scouting Combine was to break the 40 yard dash held by Tennessee Titans running back Chris Johnson of a hand-time 4.24 and this morning he did just that, putting out an absolutely blazing hand-timed 4.17.
Yes, you read that correctly: 4.17.
That time alone must be enough for Goodwin to get a chance in the NFL to contribute for a team on Sundays — be it as a deep-threat receiver, or, even in the slightest scenario, as a kickoff and punt returner. In limited action in 2012 — due in part to injury, but also in part due to the stubborn failure of the Texas coaching staff to utilize him correctly — Goodwin posted 26 catches for 340 yards and three touchdowns.
Had Goodwin been healthy, one, and had former Texas offensive coordinator Bryan Harsin understood how to use him, two, who knows where those numbers actually would have landed?
In the right NFL offense, giving Goodwin the ball with space and allowing him to make plays with his feet should be a no-brainer. Short, quick hits which allow him to work for yards after the catch are his forte, as much as simply blazing by corners and safeties that have no chance with matching his straight-line speed.
In short, if I’m an NFL Director of Player Personnel I’ve got a new, under-the-radar talent to consider that hasn’t yet been given a chance to show what he can truly do.
Take a chance on Marquise Goodwin, gentlemen, you’ll be glad you did.