Every year in the lead-up to the NFL Draft, there is a fascination with the 40-yard dash of various prospects. Though the metric has little to do with the success of players at the pro level, football fans love speed and fast players. As such, 40 times are a big-time topic of conversation every year during the NFL Combine.
However, during the 2021 NFL offseason, there is no combine. The league decided not to host one this year due to concerns about the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. The event will likely be back next year, but with the event canceled, the 40-yard dash hasn’t been on center stage as much as it has been in the past.
Still, prospects are performing the drill at their pro days and while the spotlight may not be as bright at those events, there certainly will be a certain element of pride for the fastest players in the 2021 NFL Draft. And needless to say, those top-gear competitors will want to outdo one another to earn more attention ahead of the draft.
Clocking a fast 40-yard dash doesn’t guarantee that you’ll have a successful NFL career. Just ask John Ross, who famously logged a 4.19-second 40-yard dash and went on to be the No. 9 pick for the Cincinnati Bengals. In four NFL seasons, Ross has played in 27 games and has just 51 catches for 733 yards. He does have 10 touchdowns, but he hasn’t been the dynamic, Tyreek Hill-type deep threat that the Bengals hoped they were getting.
But hey, Ross still holds the NFL Combine record for the 40-yard dash, so he’ll always have that. This offseason, the likes of Anthony Schwartz, Rondale Moore and Jaycee Horn will try to beat that record at their pro days. But will they succeed?
Below is a tracker of the fastest players as quarterbacks, wide receivers, tight ends, running backs, offensive linemen, defensive linemen, linebackers and defensive backs run their 40s throughout the 2021 NFL offseason.
2021 NFL Draft 40 times
Below are the 20 fastest 40-yard dash times recorded during the 2021 NFL pro day circuit.
(The table will be updated as 40 times are recorded over the weeks leading up to the draft. Not all prospects will run a 40-yard dash).
|4||4.33||Shi Smith||WR||South Carolina|
|5||4.35||Elijah Moore||WR||Ole Miss|
|T-6||4.37||Jaycee Horn||CB||South Carolina|
|T-9||4.38||Dee Eskridge||WR||Western Michigan|
|T-14||4.39||Jayson Oweh||DE||Penn State|
|T-14||4.39||Micah Parsons||LB||Penn State|
|T-19||4.42||Patrick Surtain II||CB||Alabama|
|T-19||4.42||Divine Deablo||S||Virginia Tech|
NFL COMBINE RECORDS:
Top marks for 40-yard dash, bench press, other drills
Additionally, here are the five fastest 40 times for each position group from the 2021 NFL pro days.
(The tables will be updated as 40 times are recorded over the weeks leading up to the draft.)
|4||4.93||Colin Hill||South Carolina|
* Trevor Lawrence and Zach Wilson didn’t complete 40-yard dashes at their pro days.
- Wide receivers:
|3||4.33||Shi Smith||South Carolina|
|4||4.35||Elijah Moore||Ole Miss|
- Tight ends:
|1||4.6||Quintin Morris||Bowling Green|
|3||4.65||Hunter Long||Boston College|
- Running backs:
|3||4.46||Khalil Herbert||Virginia Tech|
|5||4.51||Kylin Hill||Mississippi State|
- Offensive linemen:
|3||4.94||Spencer Brown||Northern Iowa|
|4||4.95||Sadarius Hutcherson||South Carolina|
|1||4.39||Micah Parsons||Penn State|
|2||4.55||Shaka Toney||Penn State|
- Defensive linemen:
|1||4.39||Jayson Oweh||Penn State|
|T-3||4.62||Milton Williams||Louisiana Tech|
|5||4.68||Tarron Jackson||Coastal Carolina|
- Defensive backs:
|T-3||4.37||Jaycee Horn||South Carolina|