Oklahoma defensive end and Baltimore native Charles Tapper predicted Friday that he had "a lot of surprises" in store for everyone during his 40-yard dash. Unable to keep a secret any longer, Tapper revealed that his goal was to run a 4.4.
Tapper, a City College alum, fell short of that number at the NFL scouting combine Sunday, but he still put up the top time among defensive linemen, running an unofficial 4.59 40-yard dash at Lucas Oil Stadium.
To put that number in perspective, the average 40 time for wide receivers Saturday was a 4.56. Tapper, who said that he consulted with Los Angeles Rams wide receiver and Baltimore native Tavon Austin about running the 40, is a 6-foot-3, 271 pound defensive end.
"This combine is going to speak a lot for me," Tapper said Friday. "I can go out here and run this 40 and do the vertical and broad jump and show my explosiveness. I'm going to let all of this speak for me."
Tapper, who most prognosticators have as an early Day Three pick, had seven sacks and 15 tackles for loss during his senior season at Oklahoma. He said that he was hoping to use the combine to prove his versatility.
While he prefers rushing from the interior, he says that he'd be comfortable moving to outside linebacker in a 3-4 defense. The Ravens, who use a 3-4, met with Tapper at the combine. If they drafted him, it would represent a homecoming and a chance to play alongside Terrell Suggs, a guy who Tapper says that he patterned his game after.
"I would definitely love to be back home," he said.