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Math-Loving NFL Player Spent Last Night's Draft Calculating Player Physics On Twitter

John Urschel's NFL career gives him a larger platform to explore his other passion: math.

Posted on May 1, 2015, at 11:54 a.m. ET

John Urschel is the quintessential mathlete.

The 23-year-old guard for the Baltimore Ravens has a master's in mathematics from Penn State, which he earned while keeping a 4.0 average.

During last night's first round of the 2015 Draft, Urschel took over General Electric's Twitter account to live-tweet advanced calculations about players' speed, agility, and strength.

Quarterback Marcus Mariota, who was quickly nabbed by the Tennessee Titans with the second pick, throws the football about 56 miles per hour, Urschel calculated.

The formula Urschel used is complex to those of us not versed in advanced mathematics, but the impact is simple: Titans wide receiver Hakeem Nicks has a job catching passes that would cause most of us to duck and hide.

With the ability to launch a ball up to 56mph downfield, Mariota possesses superior passing skills. #DraftScience

Urschel calculated that cornerback Trae Waynes, drafted by the Vikings with the 11th overall pick, is significantly faster than him.

The formula below probably makes no sense to the less mathematically inclined, but the conclusion Urschel derives is obvious: It would certainly be concerning for scouts, coaches, and fans if Waynes' speed was matched by Urschel, who is on the offensive line.

How much faster is draft pick Trae Waynes than @MathMeetsFBall? Take a look. #DraftScience

The Raiders' new wide receiver, Amari Cooper, could sprint from Los Angeles to New York in less than a calendar week, Urschel determined.

This formula was a bit more simple: Cooper runs about 22 miles per hour and even those of us without mathematical inclinations are used to calculating driving speeds, if only due to impatience.

How fast is Amari Cooper? 🏃 At his ⬆️ speed, he could leave LA Monday AM & arrive in NY Friday PM. #DraftScience

Urschel even got Snoop Dogg to tell him his 40-yard dash time, and calculated that Snoop releases about the same amount of kinetic energy released by exploding "one gram of TNT."

@SnoopDogg that's pretty fast. Let's see how @MathMeetsFball breaks it down. #DraftScience

Urschel's mix of passions for math and football seem like a strange equation to many.

Yet football is a game of strategy, and plays often act as calculated solutions to probable moves from the opposing team. It often boils down to the routes, the speed, and the strength. The X's and O's and the advanced calculations are where Urschel's passions collide: They both take place on a chalkboard.

Urschel told BuzzFeed News that when he's older and married — "I'm only 23 now, so in the future" — he will beg his wife to allow him to keep a room in their home for his number crunching. Floor to ceiling chalkboards on all four walls, he claims, are his dream.

He's the embodiment of his twin disciplines, and the videos of Urschel that were tweeted Thursday, in which he stands in front of a chalkboard in his "MATHLETE" sweatshirt, evoke images of legendary 49ers coach Bill Walsh standing in front of his own chalkboard.

Drafted in the fifth round of last year's draft, Urschel told BuzzFeed News he only watched the coverage of his draft class because his mother made him.

He understands why players sit anxiously and wait for their names — "It only happens once" — but when it comes down to it, Urschel felt the experience "sucked."

At least this year, Urschel found something to do to pass the time.

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