Eight NFL players set to challenge Ted Ginn Jr. in 40-yard dash

Ben WeinribYahoo Sports Contributor

Last week, New Orleans Saints receiver Ted Ginn Jr. said he would race anyone in a 40-yard dash for at least $10,000. Now he’ll have to put his money where his mouth is.

According to NFL reporter Dov Kleiman, eight NFL players are planning to race Ginn on June 29.

The participants include his teammate Alvin Kamara, New York Jets receiver Robby Anderson, Arizona Cardinals safety Budda Baker, Tennessee Titans safety Kevin Byard, Chicago Bears running back Tarik Cohen, Baltimore Ravens running back Mark Ingram II, Washington Redskins corner Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie and Minnesota Vikings cornerback Trae Waynes.

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While there’s no news yet if the participants will wager five figures, there’s certainly plenty of pride on the line for the veteran Ginn.

How fast is Ginn really?

Even at 34 years old, Ginn is known for his blazing speed — certainly more than he is for his hands. The tricky thing, though, is that he never ran an official 40-yard time at the NFL scouting combine.

Ginn claims that he ran a 4.22 second 40 in college, which would tie Cincinnati Bengals receiver John Ross’ official record from 2017. However, scouts clocked him between 4.37 and 4.45 seconds during predraft workouts that year.

Ginn may still be lightning fast, but he’s almost certainly a step or two slower than he was more than a decade ago.

Saints wide receiver Ted Ginn Jr. still thinks he's the fastest player in the NFL. (AP Photo/Bill Feig)
Saints wide receiver Ted Ginn Jr. still thinks he's the fastest player in the NFL. (AP Photo/Bill Feig)

How fast are the other runners?

Unlike Ginn, all other eight competitors ran official 40-yard times at the combine, so we will have some sort of measuring stick. For what it’s worth, five of the eight competitors ran their 40s in the last five years, so their times should be most accurate.

Trae Waynes: 4.31 (2015)

Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie: 4.33 (2008)

Robby Anderson: 4.34 (2016)

Tarik Cohen: 4.42 (2017)

Kevin Byard: 4.44 (2016)

Budda Baker: 4.45 (2015)

Alvin Kamara: 4.56 (2017)

Mark Ingram II: 4.62 (2011)

It’s not entirely clear how each player decided to challenge Ginn, although they’re all fairly notable. Six of them are Pro Bowlers, while Waynes was a 2015 first-rounder and Anderson has hauled in 1,693 receiving yards the past two years.

With none of the 14 players who ran a sub-4.30 40 at the combine are joining the competition, any of these nine players have a decent shot and winning the race — and any potential money — although one-time Alabama backs Kamara and Ingram stick out as serious long-shorts.

Ginn and the rest of the runners should count themselves lucky that high school sprinting phenom Matthew “White Lightning” Boling won’t be racing, though. Thanks, NCAA.

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