Haden Impressed at UF Pro Day

After his disappointing showing at the NFL Combine two weeks ago, Joe Haden set out to erase any doubts that he wasn't fast. The cornerback ran a 4.59 40-yard dash time — much slower than most thought he would. The time had people reconsidering whether he should be drafted in the top 10, but his performance at UF's Pro Day should secure him as a high pick.

It took no time for Joe Haden to prove he belonged at the top the draft, as the first event of the day was the 40 and he was the first to run. Although there are no official times recorded, most people clocked him between 4.39 and 4.44 seconds — a vast improvement from performance at the combine.

A big reason for his slow 40 time was a back strain that was bothering. With the injury healed, Haden had no doubts he would run a better time.

"I knew if I was healthy, I wasn't going to run that again," Haden said. "At the field whenever I run at 80 percent, it's 4.5s, so I knew if I was healthy, it was never going to be that high again."

Now that he has run a 40 time that most expected out of him, he can focus on impressing coaches off the field.

He said he was scheduled to have lunch with the San Francisco 49ers, who have the 13th pick, and he has an interview with the Cleveland Browns later. President Mike Holmgren and head coach Eric Mangini were in attendance for the Browns, who have the seventh pick.

"It felt like so much weight off my shoulders. Now I can go back to being regular old Joe," Haden said.

Although Haden wanted to improve his time coaches, scouts and himself, he said he thought the event was a little overrated.

During his three-year career at Florida, Haden showed on the field what he could, topping it off with a junior season that included him being a Jim Thorpe finalists and on multiple all-America teams.

Fightin Gators Top Stories