NFL combine 40-yard dash: Who was the fastest in 2023? originally appeared on NBC Sports Chicago
When you were at recess, being the fastest kid in school was a distinct honor.
Fifteen or so years later, hundreds of NFL hopefuls enter Indianapolis with the same simple goal: run faster than everyone else.
Draft prospects will take the field this week at the NFL Scouting Combine, with many participating in the 40-yard dash. Players aren’t necessarily racing each other, but being the fastest at your position holds a lot of weight when teams are all watching your every move.
Here’s a full tracker of the fastest times for the 40-yard dash this year, plus a look back at some previous records:
What is the 40-yard dash?
The 40-yard dash is exactly what it sounds like. Players start in a track position and then sprint 40 yards as fast as they can. They are able to start whenever they want, as the electronic timing method tracks them from start to finish.
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Who had the fastest 40-yard dash in 2023?
Defensive linemen and linebackers began the process on Thursday, and they’ll be followed by the defensive backs on Friday, quarterbacks, wide receivers and tight ends on Saturday and running backs and offensive linemen on Sunday. Here are the fastest 40-yard times by position:
- Nolan Smith (Georgia), 4.39 seconds
- Byron Young (Tennessee), 4.43 seconds
- Robert Beal Jr. (Georgia), 4.48 seconds
- DJ Johnson (Oregon), 4.49 seconds
- Adetomiwa Adebawore (Northwestern), 4.49 seconds
- Owen Pappoe (Auburn), 4.39 seconds
- Trenton Simpson (Clemson), 4.43 seconds
- Yasir Abdullah (Louisville), 4.47 seconds
- Dorian Williams (Tulane), 4.49 seconds
- Dee Winters (TCU), 4.49 seconds
Who had the fastest 40-yard dash in 2022?
Last year, 33 players posted a 40 time of 4.40 seconds or quicker. Here were the 15 fastest prospects from the 2022 draft class:
- Kalon Barnes (Baylor CB), 4.23 seconds
- Tariq Woolen (UTSA CB), 4.26 seconds
- Tyquan Thornton (Baylor WR), 4.28 seconds
- Velus Jones (Tennessee WR), 4.31 seconds
- Calvin Austin III (Memphis WR), 4.32 seconds
- Zyon McCollum (Sam Houston State CB), 4.33 seconds
- Danny Gray (SMU WR), 4.33 seconds
- Nick Cross (Maryland S), 4.34 seconds
- Bo Melton (Rutgers WR), 4.34 seconds
- Christian Watson (North Dakota State WR), 4.36 seconds
- Percy Butler (Louisiana S), 4.36 seconds
- JT Woods (Baylor S), 4.36 seconds
- Tycen Anderson (Toledo S), 4.36 seconds
- Alontae Taylor (Tennessee CB), 4.36 seconds
- Amare Barno (Virginia Tech EDGE), 4.36 seconds
What is the fastest 40-yard dash ever at the NFL combine?
Since electronic timing was introduced in 1999, only four players have ran quicker than 4.25 seconds:
- John Ross, WR, 2017: 4.22 seconds
- Kalon Barnes, CB, 2022: 4.23 seconds
- Chris Johnson, RB, 2008: 4.23 seconds
- Rondel Menendez, WR, 1999: 4.24 seconds
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