Former Iowa linebacker Josey Jewell discusses his time of 4.68 seconds, an improvement from 4.82 at the NFL Combine. Chad Leistikow
IOWA CITY, Ia. — Josey Jewell thrives on proving his detractors wrong.
So when the former Iowa linebacker ran a 4.82-second 40-yard dash at the NFL Scouting Combine on March 4, all he could do was stew for three weeks and wait for his shot for vindication.
That moment arrived Monday, when Jewell showed the 39 NFL personnel at Iowa's Pro Day that he is a little faster than previously thought. Jewell ran a 4.68 40. His goal was to be in the mid-4.6s, he said.
"I don't know what I did" to get faster in three weeks, Jewell said with a relieved chuckle. "I think it was just that I ran a good time here. Sometimes you don't run the best times you want. Sometimes you might get too anxious. I don't know what it was. But I'm glad with what I had today.
"I don't know if I needed it. Maybe for myself, yeah, I wanted something faster — quite a bit faster."
Jewell, an all-American middle linebacker, said he felt like the performance he gave Monday was more indicative of his true talents. He also said he's never sure which NFL teams are leaning on measurables like 40 times and which place more value on the film from his three years as one of the nation's top linebackers.
"I'm sure they watch tape a lot and understand what you can do. But I'm sure they look at the measurables a little bit," Jewell said. "There's different teams, different mindsets, so I never really know.
"At some point, you want to see how fast a guy can overall run. But at the end of the day, it's whether you're a football player or not."
There's no doubt that Jewell is a football player. But that 40 time from Indianapolis was something he wanted to erase so scouts and media would stop talking about it.
"You'll get a little bit of anger — good anger — in there, just to make you want to work harder," said Jewell, who projects as a mid-round draft pick next month.