Whatever the impetus, observers were left with a clear impression that draft prospects were "absolutely obliterating" the 40-yard dash at this year's combine.
"This was one of the most unbelievable combines I've ever been around," one experienced NFL scout told CBSSports.com's Mike Freeman. "I would guess that most people in the league have rarely seen anything like it."
Was there a groundbreaking shift in 40-yard dash times this year? Not so, concludes DraftMetrics.com.
While there were clusters at several positions that blazed near record-breaking times, average times for five of the six skill-position groups actually fell off or stayed the same this year.
Running backs, safeties and linebackers averaged their worst times in a decade while wide receivers, tight ends and cornerbacks stayed relatively stable.