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Top-5 fastest 40-yard dash times recorded in NFL Combine history

We take a look back at who holds the record for fastest 40-yard dash at the NFL Combine... and who finished just behind him.

Wide receiver John Ross of Washington runs the 40-yard dash in an unofficial record time of 4.22 seconds during day four of the NFL Combine at Lucas Oil Stadium on March 4, 2017 in Indianapolis, Indiana. Photo by Joe Robbins/Getty Images

Thursday late PM update: Welp, so much for records. The NFL announced Thornton’s official time was 4.28 and Olave’s official time was 4.39.

Thursday PM update: Baylor WR Tyquan Thornton ran an unofficial 4.21-second 40-yard dash, which would (if confirmed) break the record currently held by John Ross III (4.22 seconds in 2017). OSU WR Chris Olave ran a 4.26-second 40, which would tie for the third-fastest in NFL Combine history.

With the 2021-22 NFL season over, the next big NFL event we have is the NFL Draft. Prior to the draft, we have the NFL Combine where the best prospects from college football are invited to display their abilities in front of scouts, coaches, general managers, and even sometimes owners. Below we take a look at the top-10 fastest 40-yard dash times recorded in NFL Combine history.

Fastest 40-yard dash finishes

  1. John Ross III - 4.22 seconds
  2. Rondel Menendez, Chris Johnson - 4.24 seconds
  3. Jerome Mathis, Dri Archer - 4.26 seconds
  4. Stanford Routt, Marquise Goodwin, Henry Ruggs III - 4.27 seconds
  5. Champ Bailey, Jacoby Ford, DeMarcus Van Dyke, J.J. Nelson, Jalen Myrick - 4.28 seconds

Over the years, the 40-yard dash is one of the most fun drills for fans to watch as guys try to build their draft stock with speed every year. Some great players draft stock has went up and dropped in the draft over years. For example, John Ross III had a boosted draft stock after the 40-yard dash, whereas Orlando Brown Jr.’s stock went down. Sometimes I feel like we overreact about the 40-yard dash because look how good Orlando Brown Jr. has been.

A few guys in this year's NFL Draft Combine who have the chance to make this list are UTSA’s Tariq Woolen, SMU’s Danny Gray, Baylor’s Kalon Barnes, Sam Houston State Zyon McCollum, and Memphis’ Calvin Austin III.