Former Texas A&M wide receiver Ryan Swope ran the 40-yard dash in 4.34 seconds at the NFL Scouting Combine on Sunday, making him one of the three fastest players who took place in the Combine this year. But could he be flying under the radar even with that blazing speed?
In an interview with “The Dan Patrick Show” on Thursday, Swope was asked about being a white guy with those kinds of wheels. He said the fact that a white guy ran as fast as he did probably caught some people off guard.
“I think a lot of people were pretty shocked,” Swope said. “You don’t see that every day, a white guy running a 4.3. I just wanted to go out and let people know how important this is to me. This is a big deal. I’m trying to make it in the NFL and I want to go out and do it the right way.”
As Pro Football Talk pointed out, Swope’s NFL.com scouting report says that his straight-line speed and acceleration are “average.” Either that information is inaccurate, or something is wrong with the clocks at the Combine.
Naturally, the former Aggie is used to being compared to successful white wide receivers who currently play in the NFL. One such player is Wes Welker, who Swope is not complaining about being compared to.
“I’ve been compared to Welker,” he said. “I think that’s a huge compliment because Welker’s a great football player. … But I think people decide to make a white and white comparison.”
While Swope’s skin color may work against him if he is stereotyped leading up to the NFL Draft, there are a number of current NFL players who feel that it can work in a player’s favor at the professional level. Several Miami Dolphins players feel that Brian Hartline is underrated because he’s white. Jordy Nelson feels he does not get the respect he deserves from opposing defenses for the same reason. Flying under the radar has its pros and cons.