Fastest 40-Yard Dash Times In NFL Combine History

    A look at the fastest 40-yard dash times at the NFL Combine, along with a recap of where the players were drafted, and how successful they were in their NFL playing careers.

    February 17, 2016

    The 10 fastest 40-yard dash times at the NFL Combine have all been recorded since 2003, with 14 players running a time of 4.31 seconds or quicker. Being fast doesn’t always translate to success in the NFL though, as those 14 players have had a wide array of NFL careers after being drafted.

    For some teams – looking at you, Oakland Raiders – drafting a player with speed is high on the list. While Oakland might think twice about selecting another player with an eye-popping 40-yard dash, the Titans won the jackpot with Chris Johnson in 2008.

    Below is a quick recap of those 14 players, their position, time, draft recap, and where they went to college.

    Note: The statistics used for this article are as recognized by NFL.com.

    NFL Combine’s Fastest 40-Yard-Dash Times

    1. Chris Johnson

    Year: 2008

    Position: Running Back


    Time: 4.24 seconds


    College: East Carolina


    Draft Recap: Round 1 – Pick 24 – Tennessee Titans

    Johnson has been a consistent running back since entering the league in 2008, rushing for 9,442 career yards and 54 touchdowns. His best season came in 2009, when he rushed for 2,009 yards and 14 touchdowns on his way to winning the NFL Offensive Player of the Year. After six seasons with the Titans, he played a year with the New York Jets and then spent the 2015 season with the Arizona Cardinals.

    T-2. Dri Archer

    Year: 2014

    Position: Running Back


    Time: 4.26 seconds


    College: Kent State


    Draft Recap: Round 3 – Pick 97 – Pittsburgh Steelers

    In two years with the Steelers, Archer only saw a limited amount of snaps, recording 10 rushes for 40 yards and seven receptions for 23 yards. This offseason, he signed a reserve/future contract with the New York Jets.

    T-2. Jerome Mathis

    Year: 2005

    Position: Wide Receiver


    Time: 4.26 seconds


    College: Hampton


    Draft Recap: Round 4 – Pick 114 – Houston Texans

    A great rookie season led to being named First-team All-Pro, the NFL Alumni Special Teams Player of the Year, and a spot in the Pro Bowl. Unfortunately for Mathis, he fractured his foot in the Pro Bowl, and he hasn’t made any impact in the NFL since.

    T-4. Marquise Goodwin


    Year: 2013

    Position: Wide Receiver


    Time: 4.27 seconds


    College: Texas


    Draft Recap: Round 3 – Pick 78 – Buffalo Bills

    Goodwin has caught only 20 passes for 349 yards and three touchdowns in his three-year career, and he spent 2015 on the injured reserve list.

    T-4. Stanford Routt


    Year: 2005

    Position: Cornerback


    Time: 4.27 seconds


    College: Houston


    Draft Recap: Round 2 – Pick 38 – Oakland Raiders

    Routt spent seven seasons in Oakland with moderate success. His best season was in 2010 when he recorded 55 tackles, one forced fumble, two interceptions and a defensive touchdown.

    T-4. Tyrone Calico


    Year: 2003

    Position: Wide Receiver


    Time: 4.27 seconds


    College: Middle Tennessee


    Draft Recap: Round 2 – Pick 60 – Tennessee Titans

    Tyrone Calico spent just three seasons in the NFL, recording 42 receptions for 501 yards. All four of Calico’s NFL touchdown catches came in his rookie year in 2003.

    7. Jacoby Ford


    Year: 2010

    Position: Wide Receiver


    Time: 4.28 seconds


    College: Clemson


    Draft Recap: Round 4 – Pick 108 – Oakland Raiders

    Ford caught 57 passes for 848 yards and three touchdowns in his three-year stint with Oakland from 2010-12. The Raiders didn’t renew his contract after the 2013 season, and Ford has not seen NFL action since. 

    8. Fabian Washington


    Year: 2005

    Position: Cornerback


    Time: 4.29 seconds


    College: Nebraska


    Draft Recap: Round 1 – Pick 23 – Oakland Raiders

    In a six-year career spent with both Oakland and Baltimore, Washington recorded 222 tackles, six interceptions and 53 deflected passes.

    9. Darrius Heyward-Bey


    Year: 2009

    Position: Wide Receiver


    Time: 4.3 seconds


    College: Maryland


    Draft Recap: Round 1 – Pick 7 – Oakland Raiders

    Having never lived up to the expectations, Heyward-Bey has 193 career receptions for 2,727 yards and 14 touchdown receptions in his seven-year NFL career. His most recent stint was in the 2014-15 seasons with the Pittsburgh Steelers.

    T-10. Tyvon Branch


    Year: 2008

    Position: Safety


    Time: 4.31 seconds


    College: Connecticut


    Draft Recap: Round 4 – Pick 100 – Oakland Raiders

    Following seven up-and-down years in Oakland, Branch started 16 games for the Kansas City in 2015, racking up 43 tackles, one sack and one interception for the Chiefs. For his career, he has 519 tackles, nine sacks and five interceptions.

    T-10. Justin King


    Year: 2008

    Position: Cornerback


    Time: 4.31 seconds


    College: Penn State


    Draft Recap: Round 4 – Pick 101 – St. Louis Rams

    In a short, injury-plagued NFL career, King recorded only 116 tackles with one sack and one interception while spending time with the Rams, Colts, and Steelers.

    T-10. Carlos Francis


    Year: 2004

    Position: Wide Receiver


    Time: 4.31 seconds


    College: Texas Tech


    Draft Recap: Round 4 – Pick 99 – Oakland Raiders

    Used mostly as a kick returner in his three-year career, Francis did not have any receptions while returning 14 punts for 259 yards in 2004 in the only year he saw game action.

    T-10. Michael Waddell


    Year: 2004

    Position: Cornerback


    Time: 4.31 seconds


    College: North Carolina


    Draft Recap: Round 4 – Pick 124 – Tennessee Titans

    Spending four years with the Titans and one as an Oakland Raider, Waddell made 66 tackles and intercepted one pass with five pass deflections from 2004 to 2008.

    T-10. Kevin Garrett


    Year: 2003

    Position: Cornerback


    Time: 4.31 seconds


    College: SMU


    Draft Recap: Round 5 – Pick 172 – St. Louis Rams

    Garrett played only three years in the NFL, recording just 21 tackles with no sacks for the Rams in 2003-04 and Texas in 2006.


    MORE: Predicting Who Could Break NFL Combine Records

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