No one had to tell Jarvis Landry he probably shouldn’t have run the 40-yard dash at the NFL scouting combine workouts in late February.
Despite being bothered by a tight hamstring, the former LSU wide receiver’s competitiveness took over and he struggled to finish in 4.77 seconds — the slowest among 48 wideouts there.
Incredibly, that wasn’t the bad part.
Far worse was having to wait 45 excruciating days until LSU’s pro day to get a chance to do something about it.
That day finally came Wednesday, and Landry did his best to redeem himself and prove he’s worthy of being an early round pick in the May 8-10 NFL draft despite everything he’s heard and read over the past 61/2 weeks.
“I was excited because I felt like it was a long process … almost a month and a half without being able to perform in front of scouts,” said the former Lutcher High School star, who admitted that he needed to silence the critics. “I kind of felt bitter about it.
“At the same time, I knew I had to get better and not let that take me down. I had to recover from an injury and get stronger so I could get faster and be able to perform like I did today.”
On Wednesday, he was ready to go.
He did the shuttle, three-cone drills and the broad jump and vertical jump — and, of course, the 40-yard dash that raised some eyebrows at the combine.
LSU strength coach Tommy Moffitt clocked Landry on his two runs Wednesday at 4.58 seconds, although Landry said he understood his time to be in the low 4.5-second range.
Whatever it was, it wasn’t a 4.77.
“I’m ecstatic about that, just being able to show my straight-line speed and show the drastic improvement in bouncing back from an injury and being able to come out here and run well,” a beaming Landry said.
When asked if he looks back now on his decision to run at the combine, Landry didn’t flinch.
“Being the competitor I am, I just wanted to give it a try … give it a go,” he said. “I ended up doing one drill and got pulled out of it. I understood I had a pro day left, and I had a great performance.”
Landry got a chance to show even more of his route-running and strong hands, which helped him catch 77 passes for 1,193 yards and 10 touchdowns last season, in individual drills later in the day.
How much it means in the grand scheme won’t be known for another month, but Landry was ranked as the 14th wide receiver and 91st overall player as of Wednesday by NFLDraftScout.com — projected to go in the third round.
There’s time in some private workouts, he said, to make another move up the draft boards. At least one long-time NFL wide receivers coach was impressed by what he saw in person Wednesday.
“He’s got excellent ball skills and has good instincts as a wide receiver,” the coach said, adding Landry’s time wasn’t a concern to him. “He’s got good initial quickness. … He doesn’t have long speed, but he’s tough and can do a lot of things. He can be a guy that can be a real value to you.”
While Landry may have made himself some money Wednesday, he didn’t want to think about that.
“You know, I’ll let them (the teams) handle that,” he said. “I’ll just continue to control the things that I can control and see where God places me.”