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NFL Scouting Combine: Top 5 40-yard dash times in history
The 40-yard dash drills at the NFL combine are some of the flashiest numbers a college player can post. The best 40-yard dash times in the history of the NFL combine haven't guaranteed success in the NFL though, even if it has sparked conversation during the combine and the following NFL Draft.
The 40-yard dash drills are about as obvious as they sound, as every player coming to the NFL combine is timed as they run for 40 yards. It is a competitive drill, and a good score often becomes a bragging point for a player if they make it in the NFL. The problem is that speed does not always translate to other talents on the field.
Top 5 40-Yard Dash Times in NFL Combine History
4.24 - Rondel Melendez, (WR), Eastern Kentucky - 1999
Rondel Melendez is tied for the best time ever at the NFL Scouting Combine, but he served as proof that speed doesn't always guarantee success. He was drafted by the Atlanta Falcons in the seventh round of the 1999 NFL Draft, but he never saw action in an NFL game.
4.24 - Chris Johnson, (RB), East Carolina - 2008
Chris Johnson is considered by many people to be the fastest man in the NFL right now. He was drafted 24th overall in the 2008 NFL Draft by the Tennessee Titans, and has already become one of the best running backs in the league. In the 2009 regular season, he rushed for 2,006 yards and 14 touchdowns during just his second NFL season.
After posting an amazing 40-yard dash time, Darrius Heyward-Bey became the first receiver taken in the 2009 NFL Draft. It was Oakland that selected him with the No. 7 overall selection, despite a lot of criticism from analysts. It is also worth noting that Heyward-Bey was clocked at 4.23 while in college, making him arguably the fastest man on this list. In his first two seasons with the Raiders, Heyward-Bey has seen very limited action for the team.
Champ Bailey was selected as the No. 7 pick in the 1999 NFL Draft by the Washington Redskins, and is well on his way to being an NFL Hall of Famer. Through the 2010 season, Bailey had been selected to nine Pro Bowls and three First-Team All Pro teams. As a defensive back in the league he has been one of the best "stoppers" in the NFL for first the Redskins and then the Denver Broncos.
Jerome Mathis became the No. 114 selection of the 2005 NFL Draft when the Houston Texans selected him in the fourth round. He ended up making it to the 2005 Pro Bowl and was selected as a First Team All-Pro that season as well. He was the special teams representative after posting 1,542 yards and two touchdowns on his kick returns alone. Injuries and off-field problems ended his career far too early.
Jacoby Ford was just selected by the Oakland Raiders in the fourth round (108th overall) of the 2010 NFL Draft, and saw quite a bit of action as their kick returner. He posted 1,280 yards and three touchdowns on kick returns, showing that Oakland made a great choice by drafting him.
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