The 2020 NFL Combine is in full force and the 40 times so far have been fast, extremely fast — but also haven’t lived up the hype, which was impossible in the first place. Henry Ruggs vs. Jalean Reagor wasn’t much of a matchup, as Ruggs blew away the competition with the fastest time of all the wide receivers.
Ruggs came into the combine with the goal of beating John Ross’ 4.22 40, but came up short with a 4.27. Scouts already knew he was explosive on the field, so his explosive time, although not a record, puts on paper what our eyes told us.
Top speed at the combine doesn’t equate into longevity in the NFL, as plenty of 4.5 40 players are tearing up the pro ranks. However, we do have a fascination with speed, and when a player can marry that speed with NFL ability, it can be pretty fun. Just look at Julio Jones and Tyreek Hill.
We didn’t just get blazing times for many of the wide receivers, CeeDee Lamb had the catch of the night:
Lamb, Ruggs and Jerry Jeudy are the top-3 receiver prospects and all three did well across the board, while all of the receivers who went sub 4.4 in their 40s helped their stock. Speed kills in the NFL, more so now than in the past, and can be used by good offensive coaches even if the player isn’t an elite playmaker.
Chase Claypool, out of Notre Dame, turned some heads with his 4.42 time, as he’s a stout 6 foot 4, coming in at 238-pounds. Some teams asked him to work out as a tight end, but that time will give him options.
Another receiver who put up a strong time despite his size was Denzel Mims out of Baylor who smoked a 4.38 time while coming in at 6 foot 3, 207-pounds. That breakdown is going to get teams taking a second and third look at him.
Southern’ Miss’ Quez Watkins clocked in as the second-fastest receiver with a 4.35 and put together an overall strong workout. His stock is definitely rising while Jalen Reagor ran a disappointing, for him, 4.47, but also appeared to put on some weight before the combine. He did well in the drills, but after a down 2019, he likely needed a slightly better performance to make a big jump in his draft ranking.
Jonathan Taylor runs a 4.39 to give those who don’t have them as their RB1 in the draft some pause:
Here’s Ruggs doing something that very few humans can do:
Below are the Top 40 times so far. Wide receivers are usually the fastest, but some defensive backs can get their wheels churning pretty quickly as well. The player we’ll want to keep an eye on is Utah’s Javelin Guidry, who ran the fastest 100m in California and a 4.35 in his first 40 attempt. He believes he can run in the 4.2s this weekend. We’ll update this table as times come in:
Top 40 times for 2020 NFL combine
|1||4.27||Henry Ruggs III||WR||Alabama|
|3||4.35||Quez Watkins||WR||So. Miss|
|4||4.37||L'Jarius Sneed||S||Lousiana Tech|
|13||4.4||Troy Pride||DB||Notre Dame|
|T-14||4.41||Darrynton Evans||RB||App. State|
|T-17||4.42||Chase Claypool||WR||Notre Dame|
|T-17||4.42||Josiah Scott||DB||Michigan St.|
|T-17||4.42||Raymond Calais||RB||Louisiana Lafayette|
|T-21||4.43||John Hightower||WR||Boise State|
|T-23||4.44||Anthony McFarland Jr.||RB||Maryland|
|T-23||4.44||Vildor Kindle||DB||Georgia So.|
|T-26||4.45||Jeremy Chinn||S||So. Illinois|
|T-26||4.45||Isaiah Coulter||WR||Rhode Island|
|T-26||4.45||Antoine Winfield Jr.||S||Minnesota|
|7-32||4.46||Essang Bassey||DB||Wake Forest|
|7-32||4.46||Willie Gay Jr.||LB||Mississippi State|
|T-38||4.47||Stephen Guidry||WR||Miss. St.|
|T-38||4.47||Cam Akers||RB||Florida State|
|T-42||4.48||Dezmon Patman||WR||Wash. St.|