The 40-yard-dash is, generally speaking, the gold standard to measure how fast an NFL player is — even if some argue that it’s overrated. Scouts are enamored with it. Coaches are obsessed with it. Hopeful draft picks focus the most time on it. Everyone just seems to brag about it. Speed tends to win in sports, and so the 40-yard-dash has become the must-see event at the annual NFL Combine.
Sure, when football players run a 40-yard-dash, they’re often wearing an outfit more appropriate for an Olympic sprinter, with the lightest clothing possible replacing bulky pads and helmets that would be worn during actual games. But, hey, nobody seems to care, because if someone runs a blazing 4.3 seconds in 120 feet, they could see themselves climb up draft boards just as fast.
Thing is, there’s no way of actually knowing who the fastest player in the NFL really is. We all have an idea, but, really, until we can get these guys in a race to determine the champ, it’s all just an eye test. Well, that’s all going to change next month, because a couple NFL players are actually holding a 40-yard-dash competition that will feature some of the league’s fastest men going head-to-head against each other to determine who’s the fastest of them all.
According to Dov Kleiman, an independent NFL reporter, the race will take place on June 29, and will feature nine players competing. Take a look at some of the list of names below, courtesy of Kleiman’s Twitter account. The full list can be found here.
As for which players on that list might stake claim as the fastest man in the NFL, Sports Illustrated detailed what each player ran in the 40-yard-dash during their NFL Combine tests, with some guys going as far back as 2007. Take a look at who might have a leg up in the race, with their draft year in parenthesis.
- Alvin Kamara (2017): 4.56 seconds
- Ted Ginn Jr. (2007): 4.37-4.45 seconds
- Tarik Cohen (2017): 4.42 seconds
- Robby Anderson (2016): 4.34 seconds
- Mark Ingram (2011): 4.62 seconds
- Trae Waynes (2015): 4.31 seconds
- Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie (2008): 4.33 seconds
- Kevin Byard (2016): 4.44 seconds
- Budda Baker (2015): 4.45 seconds
Based off that info, assuming none of the players competing in the 40-yard-dash have lost speed or gotten faster, my money’s on Trae Waynes. Considering some of the guys mentioned are well over 30 — like Ginn Jr. and Rodgers-Cromartie — it’ll be interesting to see if they can keep up with the young bucks.
Ted Ginn Jr. recently added fuel to the fire by saying he has run a blazing fast 4.22 40-yard dash before, and even said he’d put $10,000 on the line to prove he’s the fastest in the league. Guess we’ll find out, which is awesome, because this is a dope idea.