What are the best 40-yard dash times for each position? (2024)

Records for the NFL combine’s 40-yard dash are already being broken on the first day of on-field drills. On Thursday, Pittsburgh’s Calijah Kancey set the record for the fastest time by a defensive tackle since 2003.

Kancey ran the 40-yard dash in 4.67 seconds, ESPN’s Adam Schefter reported.

Pitt DT Calijah Kancey officially ran a 4.67

That's the fastest time at the Combine for a DT since 2003 🤯pic.twitter.com/m9xr575XyV

— B/R Gridiron (@brgridiron) March 2, 2023

Northwestern’s Adetomiwa Adebawore also caught the internet’s attention when he ran the drill in 4.49 seconds. Peter Schrager of “Good Morning Football” called the 282-pound defensive lineman the “biggest winner” of Day 1 of the NFL combine.

But how do Kancey and Adebawore stack up against NFL prospects playing other positions?What is a good 40-yard dash time?

Here’s a guide to the best 40-yard dash times for each position:

Quarterback — Michael Vick

It should come as no surprise that Michael Vick has the fastest 40-yard dash time among quarterbacks in the history of the NFL combine. Vick ran the 40-yard dash in 4.33 seconds at the 2001 combine, according to the Pro Football Network.

In 2021, Vick showed he still has his speed two months shy of turning 41. He ran the 40-yard dash in 4.72 seconds — which is faster than Patrick Mahomes’ time of 4.80 seconds at his combine — as part of the NFL’s “Run Rich Run” fundraiser for St. Jude’s Children’s Hospital.

Desmond Ridder out of Cincinnati ran the fastest 40-yard dash among quarterbacks at the combine last year with a time of 4.52 seconds, Sporting News reported. The Atlanta Falcons drafted Ridder in the third round of the draft.

Offensive lineman — Terron Armstead

In 2013, Terron Armstead ran the 40-yard dash in 4.71 seconds. The 306-pound offensive tackle out of Arkansas-Pine Bluff broke the record of 4.85 seconds set in 2010 by Bruce Campbell, according to Pro Football Network.

The New Orleans Saints drafted Armstead in the third round in 2013. Armstead is a three-time Pro-Bowler and an All-Pro player.

Last year, Dare Rosenthal, an offensive tackle, ran the fastest 40 among offensive linemen in 2022 at 4.88 seconds, per Sporting News.

While not the fastest offensive linemen, Tampa Bay Buccaneers offensive tackle Tristan Wirfs completed the drill in 4.85 seconds, the fastest time of any player weighing over 330 pounds, in 2020.

Wide receiver — John Ross

The title of the fastest wide receiver and the fastest player to run the 40-yard dash at the NFL combine belongs to John Ross. In 2017, the receiver ran the drill in 4.22 seconds, breaking running back Chris Johnson’s record of 4.24 seconds, the Deseret News previously reported.

After his combine, Ross spent four seasons with the Cincinnati Bengals, who drafted him No. 9 overall. Then, he spent a season with the New York Giants in 2021. He has 62 career receptions for 957 yards, according to ESPN.

Last year, Tyquan Thornton was the fastest wide receiver with a time of 4.28 seconds, according to NFL.com. He ran an unofficial time of 4.21 seconds, almost stealing Ross’ record. The New England Patriots drafted Thornton in the second round.

WOW. JUST WOW.@BUFootball WR Tyquan Thornton might've just broken the all-time 40 record with a 4.21u.

📺: #NFLCombine on @nflnetwork pic.twitter.com/WvR8FfKv6M

— NFL (@NFL) March 4, 2022

Running back — Chris Johnson

Chris Johnson’s 4.24 seconds in 2010 tied the record Rondel Menendez set in 1999, but Johnson is often credited as the sole record holder because Menendez never played in an NFL regular season game, Bleacher Report reported.

The Tennessee Titans drafted Johnson in the first round. He spent six seasons with the team before playing for the Arizona Cardinals and New York Jets. He amassed 9,651 yards and 55 touchdowns on 2,163 carries, according to ESPN.

In 2022, two running backs tied for the fastest 40-yard dash time in their position group at 4.37 seconds: Pierre Strong and Isiah Pacheco, according to Sporting News. Strong was drafted by the Patriots in the fourth round. Pacheco was drafted in the seventh round by the Chiefs and went on to score a touchdown in the Chiefs’ Super Bowl win this year.

Tight end — Vernon Davis

In 2006, Vernon Davis set the record for the fastest 40-yard dash time from a tight end at the NFL combine, according to Fansided. Davis ran the drill in 4.38 seconds.

The San Francisco 49ers drafted Davis sixth overall. He spent 10 seasons with the team before spending a season with the Broncos and then playing the last four seasons of his career with Washington.

In 2022, Chigoziem Okonkwo ran the drill in 4.52 seconds. Okonkwo was drafted by the Titans in the fourth round and was the highest drafted tight end out of the University of Maryland since Davis, The Washington Post reported.

Defensive linemen — Odafe Oweh

While Kancey set a new record for defensive tackles, his time isn’t the best for defensive linemen. The top time for defensive linemen belongs to a defensive end.

Odafe Oweh’s 4.36-second run set a new record for defensive linemen in 2021, according to Pro Football Network. Oweh was drafted with the second to last pick of the first round by the Baltimore Ravens.

Cornerback — Kalon Barnes

The second-best overall 40-yard dash time belongs to Kalon Barnes, who has the fastest time among cornerbacks. Barnes ran the drill in 4.23 seconds in 2022. He was 0.01 seconds shy of tying Ross’ record.

Barnes’ time and Tariq Woolen’s 4.26 seconds last year marked the first times since 2003 that a defensive back ran the drill in under 4.27 seconds, according to NFL Football Operations.

The Carolina Panthers drafted Barnes in the seventh round.

Kalon Barnes' 40 got the kids impressed 😂@KaayBarnes_ | @BUFootball

📺: #NFLCombine on NFL Network pic.twitter.com/Cosmta2Dao

— NFL Network (@nflnetwork) March 6, 2022

Linebacker — Shaquem Griffin

In 2018, linebacker Shaquem Griffin ran the 40-yard dash in 4.38 seconds, setting a new record for linebackers. Griffin, who had his hand amputated when he was 4, became the feel-good story of the combine. He even completed 20 bench presses of 225 pounds later in the combine, according to NFL.com.

The Seahawks drafted Griffin in the fifth round, making him the first one-handed player to be drafted in the NFL, USA Today reported. The pick by the Seahawks allowed him to play with his twin brother, Shaquill Griffin.

#AgainstAllOdds 🙏🏾 pic.twitter.com/ziEVX7cJiT

— shaquem griffin (@Shaquemgriffin) April 28, 2018

Troy Andersen, out of Montana State, ran the fastest 40-yard dash among linebackers last year with a time of 4.42, according to Sporting News. He was drafted by the Falcons in the second round.

What are the best 40-yard dash times for each position? (2024)


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