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Combine speedsters come with a warning label at WR

The Oakland Raiders love speed, they always have.

Al Davis used it on offense to change the face of the old AFL in the 1960s and even though he's gone, the team still bears the marks of his scouting.

In 2009, Oakland fell hard for Darrius Heyward-Bey after the former Maryland wideout blazed a 4.3 40-yard dash at the NFL combine. Onlookers were stunned when Heyward-Bey was taken seventh overall by the Raiders in the draft. 

Thirty-five receptions over his first two seasons suggested Heyward-Bey was a bust, but he bounced back in 2011 to the tune of 975 yards and four touchdowns.

If grabbing the combine's fastest wideout has worked for the Raiders (and realistically, it's been hit-or-miss), it hasn't always translated into production on the field for the rest of the NFL.

A study by ESPN.com tracked the eight fastest receivers drafted between 2005 and 2011 (using their 40 times at the combine). The chart at right reveals the stark details.

The only two starters of the bunch are Heyward-Bey and Jacoby Ford (another Raider).

The remaining six? Backups at best or out of the game. 

Jerome Mathis made the group's only Pro Bowl as a kick returner in 2005. The six non-starters have produced a total of 184 receptions and 17 touchdowns in the NFL. 

Teams will always fall for speed, but it takes more than a wild combine 40 to make it in the NFL.

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