Arkansas-Pine Bluff Offensive Tackle Terron Armstead set a new NFL Combine record today for the 40 yard dash for offensive linemen. Armstead, a 6'5", 306 pound tackle, ran a mind boggling 4.71 in the 40, obliterating the old record for offensive linemen of 4.84, set by Allen Barbre in 2007. Armstead is reportedly rated somewhere around the 10th best offensive tackle. He performed unexpectedly well at the East West Shrine game and at the Senior Bowl, and as a result he is a guy beginning to rise up people's draft boards.
I can't say I've ever actually seen him play, so I can't give you an evaluation of his prospects as an NFL Offensive Tackle (presumably a left tackle with that speed). But given that amazing speed, I am wondering if he is wasted on the offensive line. That kind of speed really doesn't help all that much at Left Tackle. Yes, you need quick feet there, but that kind of speed is largely wasted on the O-Line. But at 34 DE or at 43 DT, I wonder if this guy could be an absolute beast. Can you imagine that size speed combination on the D Line? As a point of reference, only 6 DLs ran that fast at the 2012 Combine: Bruce Irvin 4.50, Shea McClellin 4.63, Nick Perry 4.64, Whitney Mercilus 4.68, Ronnell Lewis 4.69, and Andre Branch, 4.70. None of those guys weighed more than 271. Our guy, Quinton Coples, ran a 4.78 at 284 lbs.
Given his small school background, Armstead is likely a multiyear project type of player regardless of where he plays. Maybe, if he has the right tools, some team will try to turn him into a disruptive beast on the defensive line. Obviously, having never seen him play, I could be way off base here. So I am wondering, has anyone seen him play? And if so, what are your impressions of him, first as a Left Tackle, and second as a possible position switch to the defensive line?