Fastest Defensive Tackle 40 Times in NFL Combine History


Defensive Tackle 40 Times NFL Combine

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 Tackle 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 Defensive Tackle NFL Combine 40 Times All-Time

Fastest Defensive Tackle Times in NFL Combine History
Player School Time Year
Aaron Donald Pittsburgh 4.68 2014
Khalil Davis Nebraska 4.75 2020
Devonte Wyatt Georgia 4.77 2022
Jordan Davis Georgia 4.78 2022
Fletcher Cox Mississippi State 4.79 2012
Neville Gallimore Oklahoma 4.79 2020
Earl Mitchell Arizona 4.81 2010
Anthony Zettel Penn State 4.81 2016
Carlos Davis Nebraska 4.82 2020
Jaye Howard Florida 4.82 2012

Year By Year Top Defensive Tackle 40 Times

Here is a breakdown of the top 5 40 times from each year going back to 2013. (Prior to 2013 all defensive linemen were categorized together) In addition to the top 5 each year, I’ve also included any Defensive Tackle that has run under a 5 flat or faster.

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

2022

Fastest NFL Combine Defensive Tackle Times 2022
Player School Time Year
Devonte Wyatt Georgia 4.77 2022
Jordan Davis Georgia 4.78 2022
Perrion Winfrey Oklahoma 4.89 2022
Travis Jones Connecticut 4.92 2022
Thomas Booker Stanford 4.94 2022

2020

Fastest NFL Combine Defensive Tackle Times 2020
Player School Time Year
Khalil Davis Nebraska 4.75 2020
Neville Gallimore Oklahoma 4.79 2020
Carlos Davis Nebraska 4.82 2020
Justin Madubuike Texas A&M 4.83 2020
Malcolm Roach Texas 4.84 2020
Ross Blacklock TCU 4.90 2020
Rob Windsor Penn State 4.90 2020
McTelvin Agim Arkansas 4.98 2020

2019

Fastest NFL Combine Defensive Tackle Times 2019
Player School Time Year
Quinnen Williams Alabama 4.83 2019
Jerry Tillery Notre Dame 4.93 2019
Khalen Saunders Western Illinois 5.01 2019
Renell Wren Arizona State 5.01 2019
Trysten Hill UCF 5.04 2019
Christian Wilkins Clemson 5.04 2019

2018

Fastest NFL Combine Defensive Tackle Times 2018
Player School Time Year
Breeland Speaks Ole Miss 4.87 2018
Daron Payne Alabama 4.95 2018
Taven Bryan Florida 4.98 2018
B.J. Hill N.C. State 4.99 2018
Andrew Brown Virginia 5.03 2018

2017

Fastest NFL Combine Defensive Tackle Times 2017
Player School Time Year
Malik McDowell Michigan State 4.85 2017
Montravius Adams Auburn 4.87 2017
Isaac Rochell Notre Dame 4.89 2017
Charles Walker Oklahoma 4.96 2017
Larry Ogunjobi Charlotte 4.97 2017
Eddie Vanderdoes UCLA 4.99 2017

2016

Fastest NFL Combine Defensive Tackle Times 2016
Player School Time Year
Anthony Zettel Penn State 4.81 2016
Robert Nkemdiche Ole Miss 4.87 2016
Connor Wujciak Boston College 4.91 2016
Jonathan Bullard Florida 4.93 2016
Javon Hargrave South Carolina State 4.93 2016
Quinton Jefferson Maryland 4.95 2016
Lawrence Thomas Michigan State 4.98 2016

2015

Fastest NFL Combine Defensive Tackle Times 2015
Player School Time Year
Mario Edwards Florida State 4.84 2015
Xavier Cooper Washington State 4.86 2015
Louis Trinca-Pasat Iowa 4.96 2015
Derrick Lott Tennessee-Chattanooga 4.99 2015
Darius Philon Arkansas 5.00 2015

2014

Fastest NFL Combine Defensive Tackle Times 2014
Player School Time Year
Aaron Donald Pittsburgh 4.68 2014
Caraun Reid Princeton 4.91 2014
Kerry Wynn Richmond 4.97 2014
Ra’Shede Hageman Minnesota 5.02 2014
Kelcy Quarles South Carolina 5.03 2014
Khyri Thornton Southern Mississippi 5.03 2014

2013

Fastest NFL Combine Defensive Tackle Times 2013
Player School Time Year
Sharrif Floyd Florida 4.92 2013
Sheldon Richardson Missouri 5.02 2013
Sylvester Williams North Carolina 5.03 2013
Everett Dawkins Florida State 5.06 2013
Jared Smith New Hampshire 5.08 2013

FAQ

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

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

I analyzed the careers of the all-time top 10 defensive tackle 40 times to get an idea of if being one of the fastest DTs ever was a lock for NFL greatness.

And after looking through each guy’s career it doesn’t appear that a fast 40 time guarantees success, I did find some pretty interesting facts.

First, it seems fitting that the fastest defensive tackle ever at the combine is Aaron Donald (by almost a full tenth of a second by the way). Arguably the best defensive tackle ever to play the game, Donald has racked up multiple defensive player of the year awards and 9 pro bowl selections.

The list of top ten times also includes another highly decorated player, Fletcher Cox. Cox has 4 All-Pro selections and 6 pro bowls.

Between the two of them, they’re probably the most successful duo of any of the best 40 times at any position.

Also of note is the fact that every single defensive tackle in the top 10 was drafted, 4 (Donald, Wyatt, Davis, Cox) in the first round. No other position group I’ve studied can say that.

And, finally, in case you needed extra proof of why that 2022 Georgia defense was so good – 2 of the top 4 fastest times ever was posted by the two defensive tackles manning the inside of that defensive line. Wow.

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

Want to check out some more all-time 40 times?

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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