Although Jordan Addison’s official 40-yard dash time was 4.49 a lot was made about his unofficial time of 4.55. His slower 40 time has dropped him down mock draft boards as people are now concerned about his speed at the NFL level. One person who is not concerned about Addison’s speed, though, is former Pittsburgh Steelers cornerback and current scout Ike Taylor.
Taylor was present at the NFL Combine this past week as a scout for the team he played twelve years for. Yesterday, on the podcast he co-hosts, Bleav in Steelers, he spoke about his time scouting at the NFL Combine and discussed why Addison’s slow 40-yard dash time doesn’t concern him.
“To speak on Addison he’s silky smooth as a route runner,” Taylor told co-host Mark Bergin. “So yeah you can look at the 4.5, they looked at Jerry Rice as a 4.5-4.6, Jerry Rice damn near played 20 years in the league. Antonio Brown coming out at the Combine ran a 4.5 as well. Antonio was probably the best in the league for a six year run. You can only look at the 4.5 as a number.”
While it is true that it is important to have speed in the NFL, it is also important to be able to get open, and Addison can do that. In his three years in college, both at Pitt and USC, Addison put up 219 catches for 3,134 yards and 29 touchdowns. If he doesn’t have the best speed, he has to get open through his route running to put up those kinds of numbers.
Taylor touched on this during the podcast, emphasizing how good of a route runner Addison is, something that he showed not only on tape, but also in Indianapolis during the Combine. In fact, Taylor believes Addison had a good showing during the Combine, something that by following on social media you may not have picked up.
“For me, Addison, okay he ran a 4.5, let me see what his routes look like. And his routes were looking silky smooth. For me he had himself a good day. What you saw on tape, what I saw on tape from Addison was the same thing I saw in person: him being a smooth route runner, getting in and out of breaks and have [good] hands.”
For Pittsburgh, it is no secret that there is a connection between them and Addison. Addison played his first two seasons of college ball at the University of Pittsburgh where he was catching passes from Kenny Pickett. In fact, Addison’s most productive season came in Pickett’s breakout season of 2021, where Addison caught 100 passes for 1,593 yards and 17 touchdowns.
At the NFL Combine, he even expressed interest in joining there Steelers, telling them to “Come get me” during his media session. It is clear there is mutual interest, and after the success of reuniting Joe Burrow and his favorite target at LSU, Ja’Marr Chase, in Cincinnati, the idea of reuniting Pickett and Addison and to start competing for championships has to be on the mind of general manager Omar Khan and head coach Mike Tomlin.
The question then remains where Addison will land. Will his performance at the NFL Combine cause him to drop in the NFL Draft to the second round, or will teams have the view like Taylor has and see him as one of the first wide receivers off the board? If Addison is there at 17 he may be hard to pass up, but there are more important needs on this Steelers team currently than wide receiver. However, if Addison makes is to pick 32 I doubt the Steelers let him fall any further and scoop him up and reunite the college QB-WR duo.