Fastest Cornerback 40 Times in NFL Combine History


NFL Combine Cornerback 40 Times

I’ve always loved the NFL Combine. A series of events to evaluate the physical characteristics of the best college football players each year. While it’s debatable whether this whole event is actually valuable (why we’re still doing 225 rep tests, especially with Cornerbacks, I’ll never know), my fascination with it has never waned.

When I trained players for the combine, one of the things we would always do is look at previous years’ results to see how we stacked up. It was a great tool for goal-setting and motivation.

I basically did the same thing for this guide. I went through all the previous NFL Combines to find the top Cornerback 40 times of all time.

Note: These are the official NFL Combine times from NFL.com. Some resources online will also include pro day times, but because there are so many other variables (surface, weather, etc) I’ve stuck strictly to the official times from Indianapolis.

Best Cornerback NFL Combine 40 Times All-Time

Fastest Cornerback Times in NFL Combine History
Player School Time Year
Kalon Barnes Baylor 4.23 2022
Tariq Woolen Texas San Antonio 4.26 2022
Jalen Myrick Minnesota 4.28 2017
Javelin Guidry Utah 4.29 2020
Jamel Dean Auburn 4.30 2019
Tyvon Branch Connecticut 4.31 2008
Justin King Penn State 4.31 2008
Trae Waynes Michigan State 4.31 2015
Donte Jackson LSU 4.32 2018
Parry Nickerson Tulane 4.32 2018
Orlando Scandrick Boise State 4.32 2008
Denzel Ward Ohio State 4.32 2018

Year By Year Top Cornerback 40 Times

Here is a breakdown of the top 5 40 times from each year going back to 2012. In addition to the top 5 each year, I’ve also included any Cornerback that has run under a 4.40.

Related –> NFL Combine Averages By Position at 2022 NFL Combine

2022

Fastest NFL Combine Cornerback Times 2022
Player School Time Year
Kalon Barnes Baylor 4.23 2022
Tariq Woolen Texas San Antonio 4.26 2022
Zyon McCollum Sam Houston State 4.33 2022
Alontae Taylor Tennessee 4.36 2022
Cobie Durant South Carolina State 4.38 2022
Tariq Castro-Fields Penn State 4.38 2022
Cam Taylor-Britt Nebraska 4.38 2022
Damarri Mathis Pittsburgh 4.39 2022
Jalyn Armour-Davis Alabama 4.39 2022
Kaiir Elam Florida 4.39 2022

2020

Fastest NFL Combine Cornerback Times 2020
Player School Time Year
Javelin Guidry Utah 4.29 2020
Javaris Davis Auburn 4.39 2020
C.J. Henderson Florida 4.39 2020
Troy Pride Notre Dame 4.40 2020
Josiah Scott Michigan State 4.42 2020

2019

Fastest NFL Combine Cornerback Times 2019
Player School Time Year
Jamel Dean Auburn 4.30 2019
Mark Fields Clemson 4.37 2019
Greedy Williams LSU 4.37 2019
Isaiah Johnson Houston 4.40 2019
Sean Murphy-Bunting Central Michigan 4.42 2019

2018

Fastest NFL Combine Cornerback Times 2018
Player School Time Year
Donte Jackson LSU 4.32 2018
Parry Nickerson Tulane 4.32 2018
Denzel Ward Ohio State 4.32 2018
Tony Brown Alabama 4.35 2018
Anthony Averett Alabama 4.36 2018

2017

Fastest NFL Combine Cornerback Times 2017
Player School Time Year
Jalen Myrick Minnesota 4.28 2017
Fabian Moreau UCLA 4.35 2017
Marshon Lattimore Ohio State 4.36 2017
Cordrea Tankersley Clemson 4.40 2017
Marlon Humphrey Alabama 4.41 2017

2016

Fastest NFL Combine Cornerback Times 2016
Player School Time Year
Jonathan Jones Auburn 4.33 2016
Anthony Brown Purdue 4.35 2016
William Jackson Houston 4.37 2016
Brandon Williams Texas A&M 4.37 2016
Kevon Seymour USC 4.39 2016

2015

Fastest NFL Combine Cornerback Times 2015
Player School Time Year
Trae Waynes Michigan State 4.31 2015
Ronald Darby Florida State 4.38 2015
Charles Gaines Louisville 4.44 2015
Doran Grant Ohio State 4.44 2015
Craig Mager Texas State San Marcos 4.44 2015
Josh Shaw USC 4.44 2015

2014

Fastest NFL Combine Cornerback Times 2014
Player School Time Year
Justin Gilbert Oklahoma State 4.37 2014
Phillip Gaines Rice 4.38 2014
Jason Verrett TCU 4.38 2014
Bradley Roby Ohio State 4.39 2014
Brandon Dixon NW Missouri State University 4.41 2014
Jaylen Watkins Florida 4.41 2014

2013

Fastest NFL Combine Cornerback Times 2013
Player School Time Year
Darius Slay Mississippi State 4.36 2013
Dee Milliner Alabama 4.37 2013
Desmond Trufant Washington 4.38 2013
Robert Alford Southeastern Louisiana 4.39 2013
Jamar Taylor Boise State 4.39 2013

2012

Fastest NFL Combine Cornerback Times 2012
Player School Time Year
Josh Robinson UCF 4.33 2012
Ron Brooks LSU 4.37 2012
Stephon Gilmore South Carolina 4.40 2012
Coty Sensabaugh Clemson 4.42 2012
Dwight Bentley Louisiana-Lafayette 4.43 2012

FAQ

Does Running a Fast 40 at the Combine Guarantee Success for a Cornerback?

Running a fast 40 at the NFL Combine can lead to much hype and recognition, but does it directly translate to NFL success?

I looked at the careers of the 12 guys with the all-time fastest 40 times, all 4.32 or less, to see how they panned out in the league.

For starters, I think it’s safe to say that it’s still a little early to tell because 7 of the 12 guys are from the 2018 combine or later.

Having said that, it seems that having an all-time best 40 time as a corner is less of a direct predictor of success* than almost any other position group. I have to admit, at a position where speed seems like it would be a high priority, I was a bit surprised by what I found.

Only 2 of the top 12 were drafted in the first round (Ward 4th overall, Waynes 11th) and 8 of the top 12 were taken in the 4th round or later. There is only a combined three pro bowls for the whole group (Ward 2, Woolen 1).

Half of the list is still active in the league and most are still very early in their careers, so there is still a ton of room for improvement in the group as a whole. Especially, considering Tariq Woolen (how is someone who is 6’4″ and runs a 4.26 not drafted until the 5th round?) nabbed a pro-bowl spot in his rookie season.

*Success is a relative term here. Just being drafted and making it multiple seasons in the NFL is a massive success. This is more of a comparison to the other position groups. (Here’s a look at the Offensive Line which has a shockingly high correlation)

Final Thoughts

Keep in mind that not everyone that gets invited to NFL Combine actually runs a 40 at the Combine. So, some players that potentially could have run extremely fast times don’t have an official time on the record.

On top of that, there are many players each year that would have put up fast times and had success at the NFL level that doesn’t receive an NFL Combine invite.

References

NFL.com

Bleacher Report

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Ryan Horton

Horton Barbell was created by Ryan Horton who has served as a Sports Performance Coach for almost 20 years. My mission is to create a training resource to help as many coaches and athletes as possible maximize athletic potential.

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