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

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

INDIANAPOLIS, IN - MARCH 04: 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

The 2023 NFL Combine will see some of the top prospects in all of college football congregate in Indianapolis and its host venue of Lucas Oil Stadium. In addition to seeing some of the best talents that are set to go pro, a number of the fastest players in college football will take part in the combine’s various on-field workouts, including the noteworthy 40-yard dash.

Is there a chance we could see some history-making performances on display? Before we rush to any projections, let’s take a look back at some of the fastest 40-yard dash times recorded in the history of the NFL Combine.

T4 - Tariq Woolen, 2022 NFL Combine - 4.26 seconds

The UTSA product broke into the top five with a 4.26 40-yard dash in last year’s combine, eventually going on to be drafted by the Seattle Seahawks in the fifth round. In his rookie season, Woolen appeared in all 17 games to go along with six interceptions, 16 passes defended, and three fumble recoveries.

T4 - Dri Archer, 2014 NFL Combine - 4.26 seconds

Archer caught everybody’s attention in Indianapolis, clocking a 4.26 40-yard dash and eventually going on to be selected 97th overall by the Pittsburgh Steelers. Unfortunately, the Kent State product would log just 20 games played while not playing a single snap past the 2015 season.

3 - Chris Johnson, 2008 NFL Combine - 4.24 seconds

The East Carolina running back took off on the starting line and stunned the crowd as he clocked in with a then-record 4.24 40-yard dash time. In addition to holding the record for the fastest time for close to 10 years, Johnson would go on to become a three-time Pro Bowl selection and eventually finish with a 2,000 rushing-yard season that no one has forgotten.

2 - Kalon Barnes, 2022 NFL Combine - 4.23 seconds

Barnes etched himself into the history books with a top-five all-time 40-yard dash in last year’s combine, marking the fastest time recorded by a defender since 2003. The defensive back would go on to be selected by the Carolina Panthers in the seventh round.

1 - John Ross, 2017 NFL Combine - 4.22 seconds

After a superb 2016 season at Washington (1,150 receiving yards, 19 total touchdowns), Ross etched his name in the history books after clocking in with a 4.22 time in the 40-yard dash, breaking a record then held by Chris Johnson. Despite Johnson believing the NFL rigged it in order for history to be broken, the watches confirmed Ross’ time, and he would go on to be selected ninth overall in the 2017 NFL Draft.