Fastest Defensive End 40 Times in NFL Combine History


Fastest Defensive End 40 Times in NFL Combine History

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 Wide Receivers, 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 Defensive Ends of all time. The NFL combine actually classifies this position now as “EDGE” in an attempt to accommodate for the 3-4 Hybrid edge rushers who can be tricky to label as an end or a linebacker.

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 Defensive End NFL Combine 40 Times All-Time

Fastest Defensive End Times in NFL Combine History
Player School Time Year
Amare Barno Virginia Tech 4.36 2022
Montez Sweat Mississippi State 4.41 2019
Marcus Howard Georgia 4.45 2008
Sam Williams Ole Miss 4.46 2022
Leon Jacobs Wisconsin 4.48 2018
Lorenzo Carter Georgia 4.50 2018
Justin Hollins Oregon 4.50 2019
Bruce Irvin West Virginia 4.50 2012
Cliff Avril Purdue 4.51 2008
Travon Walker Georgia 4.51 2022

Year By Year Top Defensive End 40 Times

Here is a breakdown of the top 5 40 times from each year going back to 2013. (prior to 2013 defensive linemen were grouped together in results) In addition to the top 5 each year, I’ve also included any Defensive End that has run under a 4.60.

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

2022

Fastest NFL Combine Defensive End Times 2022
Player School Time Year
Amare Barno Virginia Tech 4.36 2022
Sam Williams Ole Miss 4.46 2022
Travon Walker Georgia 4.51 2022
Boye Mafe Minnesota 4.53 2022
Nik Bonitto Oklahoma 4.54 2022
David Ojabo Michigan 4.55 2022
Kayvon Thibodeaux Oregon 4.58 2022
Jermaine Johnson II Florida State 4.58 2022

2020

Fastest NFL Combine Defensive End Times 2020
Player School Time Year
Carter Coughlin Minnesota 4.57 2020
Azur Kamara Kansas 4.59 2020
James Smith-Williams N.C. State 4.60 2020
Casey Toohill Stanford 4.62 2020
Jabari Zuniga Florida 4.64 2020

2019

Fastest NFL Combine Defensive End Times 2019
Player School Time Year
Montez Sweat Mississippi State 4.41 2019
Justin Hollins Oregon 4.50 2019
Brian Burns Florida State 4.53 2019
Rashaun Gary Michigan 4.58 2019
Chase Winovich Michigan 4.59 2019

2018

Fastest NFL Combine Defensive End Times 2018
Player School Time Year
Leon Jacobs Wisconsin 4.48 2018
Lorenzo Carter Georgia 4.50 2018
Josh Sweat Florida State 4.53 2018
Peter Kalambayi Stanford 4.57 2018
Marcus Davenport Texas San Antonio 4.58 2018

2017

Fastest NFL Combine Defensive End Times 2017
Player School Time Year
Hasson Reddick Temple 4.52 2017
Jordan Willis Kansas State 4.53 2017
Takk McKinley UCLA 4.59 2017
Derek Rivers Youngstown State 4.61 2017
Myles Garrett Texas A&M 4.64 2017
Carroll Phillips Illinois 4.64 2017

2016

Fastest NFL Combine Defensive End Times 2016
Player School Time Year
Charles Tapper Oklahoma 4.59 2016
Emmanuel Ogbah Oklahoma State 4.63 2016
Kamalei Correa Boise State 4.69 2016
Shaq Lawson Clemson 4.70 2016
Matt Judon Grand Valley 4.73 2016

2015

Fastest NFL Combine Defensive End Times 2015
Player School Time Year
Danielle Hunter LSU 4.57 2015
Owa Odighizuwa UCLA 4.62 2015
Obum Gwacham Oregon State 4.72 2015
Preston Smith Mississippi State 4.74 2015
Ryan Russell Purdue 4.75 2015

2014

Fastest NFL Combine Defensive End Times 2014
Player School Time Year
Jadeveon Clowney South Carolina 4.53 2014
Larry Webster Bloomsburg 4.58 2014
Howard Jones Shepherd 4.60 2014
Jackson Jeffcoat Texas 4.63 2014
Marcus Smith Louisville 4.68 2014

2013

Fastest NFL Combine Defensive End Times 2013
Player School Time Year
Trevardo Williams Connecticut 4.57 2013
Barkevious Mingo LSU 4.58 2013
Margus Hunt SMU 4.60 2013
Dion Jordan Oregon 4.60 2013
Corey Lemonier Auburn 4.60 2013

FAQ

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

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

I took a deeper dive into the top 10 all-time defensive end times to find out.

This position group was a little harder to decipher than some of the other positions I’ve looked at because 7 of the top 10 times have all been recorded in 2018 or later. So, most of these guys have only had a few years in the league.

What I can say is that putting in a top time as a Defensive End will at least get you drafted. Defensive End is the first position group I’ve researched where all ten of the top ten times were drafted. This includes the number one overall pick in 2022, Travon Walker to the Jacksonville Jaguars.

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.

Other position groups I’ve researched: Quarterbacks | Running Backs | Wide Receivers | Tight Ends | Offensive Line

References

NFL.com

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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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