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Matt Forté Has Played Faster Than His Times

After Good but Not Great Showing at '08 Combine, Jets RB Has Gone On to 9 Fine Pro Seasons


The 2008 NFL Combine trained a bright light on a superb stable of running backs. Up top was Chris Johnson, who flew to his fabled 4.24-second 40-yard dash. Not far behind were Darren McFadden (4.33) and Jamaal Charles (4.38). Johnson and McFadden would be first-round picks in the 2008 draft, as would Jonathan Stewart, Felix Jones and Rashard Mendenhall.

In fast company like that, it's easy to get overlooked. That no doubt happened to Matt Forte.

Forté, who's always billed himself as "Work Horse," had an outstanding career at Tulane, rushing for 2,127 yards as a senior. But while he earned high marks for his versatility and open-field creativity, he didn't record burner times like his Combine classmates:

■ 4.46 seconds in the 40, seventh among backs.
■ 6.84 in the three-cone drill, fourth.
■ 4.23 in the 20-yard shuttle, sixth.

Throwback Images of the Green & White Working Out at the Combine

He did come in first among the backs with an 11.49-second time in the 60 shuttle. The catch there, though, was that he was one of only two RBs to participate in the long shuttle that year.

Forté's smaller-school background and Combine showing pushed him down into Round 2 of the draft, where he was selected by Chicago 44th overall. He spent his first eight seasons with the Bears and last year with the Jets.

And since 2008, who has led the NFL with the most yards from scrimmage? Why, it's No. 22, Matthew Garrett Forté, with 13,794 yards, 1,700 more than runner-up Adrian Peterson.

Not bad for an old Work Horse who came out of the gate running in the middle of the pack.

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