40 times are quite useful in many areas. BUT they are CLEARLY overrated at RB and WR. Those are skill positions where how fast you run without a ball in your hands is largely pointless. A RB is wearing a fairly heavy dose of pads and has to rely on his vision. His first couple steps and his vision are so much more important than 40 time that it isn't even quantifiable. Rice was able to run his 4.59 and make an immediate cut with NO loss of speed. He could catch the ball EVERY TIME running FULL speed. That is far more important than hitting 4.3 in his girl shorts for the stop watch. You want speed overall and that speed certainly adds up on defense. But Belichek, Parcells and many others believe just as much in size. I want really fast kick returners and coverage guys. I'd like my CBs to be very fast as well. After that I am rather OK with just solid speed guys who can actually play football. Sean Lee plays football like he is a 4.3 guy. That's what every coach really wants. Study the opponents and know their plays and start running before the other guy. Very seldom does the guy who starts running last win a race in the NFL.