Here are the combine results from last year's running back class arranged in order of highest vertical leap:1. Cedric Cobbs - 40"2. Tatum Bell - 38.5"3. Kevin Jones - 38"4. Julius Jones - 37.5"5. Mewelde Moore - 35"6a. Clarence Farmer - 34.5"6b. Ran Carthon - 34.5" 8a. Shaud Williams - 34"8b. Fred Russell - 34"10. Josh Davis - 33.5"Chris Perry and Steven Jackson didn't jump at the combine, but I was able to find a reliable source for Jackson's leap. With him included, the top 10 is as follows:1. Cedric Cobbs - 40"2. Tatum Bell - 38.5"3a. Kevin Jones - 38"3b. Steven Jackson - 38" (per NFL.com prospect profile)5. Julius Jones - 37.5"6. Mewelde Moore - 35"7a. Clarence Farmer - 34.5"7b. Ran Carthon - 34.5"9a. Shaud Williams - 34"9b. Fred Russell - 34"In my opinion, Cobbs, Bell, Jones, Jackson, Jones, and Moore are 6 of the top 7 rookie backs from last year's class. It's interesting to me that they all finished in the top six on this list. The other top rookie back, Chris Perry, allegedly has a 40" vertical leap. If that's true, then the top 7 rookie backs also happened to have the top 7 vertical leaps out of all the backs in their draft class. This isn't anything Earth-shattering. Similar lists for 40 times and broad jumps would yield similar results. Neverthless, it's something to think about when evaluating rookie RBs. Vertical leap is largely about fast-twitch muscles and the ability to generate a burst. I guess it should come as no surprise then that the best RBs also have good vertical leaps. 40 times get a lot of hype, but you'd be wise to keep your eye on the VJ results from this year's combine and personal workouts.
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