Former Florida standout cornerback Jalen Tabor has quickly seen his stock fall during the pre-draft process thanks to some incredibly slow, at least for a defensive back, 40-yard dash runs. At the NFL Combine, Tabor registered a 4.63 and a 4.68. He followed up those efforts by running a¬†4.77 during Florida’s Pro Day.

In an interview with NFL.com’s Ian Rapoport, Tabor claims his slow times are the result of a hamstring injury. Tabor claims he injured the hamstring while training for the draft and has yet to fully heal.

“Teams have been shocked that I ran that slow, because they know I don’t play slow — they watch the film. It’s ridiculous. I just want to let everyone know what was going on.”

So why would Tabor run on an injured leg and not explain his injury beforehand? The former Gator sees it as a sign of toughness.

“I was trying to be a tough guy because that’s how I am. I was afraid if I didn’t run, people would think I’m soft”

That show of pride could end up costing Tabor significantly if he falls in the draft following his slow runs. While Tabor probably wishes he could make the choice to run all over again, he points to his impressive game tape as the only thing potential NFL teams need to see before making a final judgment on his abilities.

“Turn on the tape and see me running step for step with 4.3, 4.4 guys in the SEC — Malcolm Mitchell and Reggie Davis at Georgia, Josh Malone at Tennessee, guys like that. Everyone I’ve visited with said they really don’t care about that, I play faster.”

Tabor makes a point, as he was often an elite performer at the SEC level. However, Tennessee fans are sure to point out Tabor did not mention his tape against receiver Jauan Jennings when discussing his highlights.


Follow Michael Wayne Bratton / SEC Mike on Twitter.