In the regional combine held Saturday at Winter Park, NAIA University of the Cumberlands wide receiver Wendell Williams ran a **hand-clocked time of 4.19 seconds** in the 40-yard dash.
His official laser time, however, was registered at 4.32, meaning running back Chris Johnson still holds the record at 4.24 seconds, set at the 2008 NFL Scouting Combine. The Associated Press wrote about Williams' notable performance:
"I didn't see the numbers, but I couldn't believe them at first," Williams told The Associated Press by phone on Sunday. "I thought I ran something good, but not that good. But then I saw the reaction from the other guys and realized it was pretty good."
The NFL said in an email Sunday night that Williams' time was hand-recorded by regional combine evaluators and several scouts, who recorded similar hand times.
Saturday's event marked the first time Minnesota has hosted a regional combine since the league started holding the smaller combines in 2012 as an option for collegiate athletes who didn't receive an invite to the NFL Scouting Combine in Indianapolis.
Williams also recorded 45 inches in the vertical jump, matching the mark shared by Ohio State's Donald Washington and Georgia's Chris Conley at the NFL Scouting Combine. He said he fielded a large number of phone calls and texts following his workout.* *
Williams knows a lot of work remains if he hopes to be on an NFL roster either via the draft on April 28-30 or with a free-agent contract. He plans to attend some individual team or pro day workouts toward that end.
But thanks to his quick steps and a major leap, he might have jumped on to teams' radars with his eye-popping numbers.
Vikings have number of options in free agency
With free agency beginning Wednesday, the Vikings have a number of positions they could possibly address through that route. Vikings General Manager Rick Spielman is known for being relatively quiet in free agency and building the roster primarily through the draft, but that doesn't mean no moves will be made. The Pioneer Press' Chris Tomasson **highlighted a few options** for Minnesota, including offensive line, wide receiver and safety.
"Teddy is going to get better every year, but that line in front of him has to get better,'' said [CBS and NFL Network analyst Solomon Wilcots, a former Vikings defensive back who lives in Cincinnati].
If the Vikings elect to make a big splash in free agency on the offensive line, one possibility could be Baltimore guard Kelechi Osemele, who also can play tackle and is one of the most highly rated prospects available. A less pricey option could be San Diego tackle Joe Barksdale.
Tomasson also said the Vikings could go after a player Head Coach Mike Zimmer previous coached in Cincinnati, including safeties George Iloka or Reggie Nelson.
"When you're messing around in free agency, I think the more you know a player the better chance you have of being correct,'' Zimmer said. "So for me, a lot of it has been familiarity. Not only me knowing them, but them knowing me and how I am. I think that's an important part of the process.''
The Bengals have 14 free agents, including nine defenders who once played under Zimmer, so there are plenty to consider. Others who could be of interest include linebacker Vincent Rey, defensive end Wallace Gilberry and cornerback Leon Hall.