Linebacker 40 Times NFL Combine

Fastest Linebacker 40 Times in NFL Combine History

I’ve loved the NFL Combine for as long as I can remember. It’s essentially an Olympics decathlon for college football players each year. While it’s debatable whether this whole event is actually valuable (not quite sure why we’re still running 60-yard shuttles), my fascination with it has never waned.

When I’ve trained players for the combine, one of the things we would always do is look at previous years’ results to see how each guy’s numbers compared. 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 Linebacker 40 times of all time.

Note: These are the official NFL Combine times from 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 Linebacker NFL Combine 40 Times All-Time

Fastest Linebacker Times in NFL Combine History
Shaquem GriffinUCF4.382018
Isaiah SimmonsClemson4.392020
Owen PappoeAuburn4.392023
Jon AlstonStanford4.402006
Devin WhiteLSU4.422019
Troy AndersenMontana State4.422022
Devin BushMichigan4.432019
Gary JohnsonTexas4.432019
Trenton SimpsonClemson4.432023
Thomas HowardTexas El-Paso4.442006
Christian HarrisAlabama4.442022

Year By Year Top Linebacker 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 Linebacker that has run a 4.55 or faster.

Related –> NFL Combine Averages By Position at 2023 NFL Combine


Fastest NFL Combine Linebacker Times 2022
Owen PappoeAuburn4.392023
Trenton SimpsonClemson4.432023
Yasir AbdullahLouisville4.472023
Dorian WilliamsTulane4.492023
Dee WintersTCU4.492023
Charlie ThomasGeorgia Tech4.522023
Anfernee OrjiVanderbilt4.532023
Jeremy BanksTennessee4.532023
Shaka HeywardDuke4.532023
Daiyan HenleyWashington State4.542023

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


Fastest NFL Combine Linebacker Times 2022
Troy AndersenMontana State4.422022
Christian HarrisAlabama4.442022
Channing TindallGeorgia4.472022
Malcolm RodriguezOklahoma State4.522022
Brandon SmithPenn State4.522022
Quay WalkerGeorgia4.522022
Leo ChenalWisconsin4.532022
D’Marco JacksonAppalachian State4.552022


Fastest NFL Combine Linebacker Times 2020
Isaiah SimmonsClemson4.392020
Willie Gay JrMississippi State4.462020
Davion TaylorColorado4.492020
Patrick QueenLSU4.502020
Shaun BradleyTemple4.512020
Kenneth MurrayOklahoma4.522020
Jordyn BrooksTexas Tech4.542020


Fastest NFL Combine Linebacker Times 2019
Devin WhiteLSU4.422019
Devin BushMichigan4.432019
Gary JohnsonTexas4.432019
David LongWest Virginia4.452019
Blake CashmanMinnesota4.502019
Ty SummersTCU4.512019


Fastest NFL Combine Linebacker Times 2018
Shaquem GriffinUCF4.382018
Roquan SmithGeorgia4.512018
Malik JeffersonTexas4.522018
Jerome BakerOhio State4.532018
Tremaine EdmundsVirginia Tech4.542018


Fastest NFL Combine Linebacker Times 2017
Jabrill PeppersMichigan4.462017
Duke RileyLSU4.582017
Raekwon McMillanOhio State4.612017
Alex AnzaloneFlorida4.632017
Tyus BowserHouston4.652017
Blair BrownOhio4.652017
Anthony WalkerNorthwestern4.652017


Fastest NFL Combine Linebacker Times 2016
Darron LeeOhio State4.472016
Travis FeeneyWashington4.502016
De’Vondre CampbellMinnesota4.582016
Deion JonesLSU4.592016
Leonard FloydGeorgia4.602016


Fastest NFL Combine Linebacker Times 2015
Vic BeasleyClemson4.532015
Kwon AlexanderLSU4.552015
Stephone AnthonyClemson4.562015
Bud DupreeKentucky4.562015
Ben HeeneyKansas4.592015


Fastest NFL Combine Linebacker Times 2014
Kevin Pierre-LouisBoston College4.512014
Telvin SmithFlorida State4.522014
Lamin BarrowLSU4.642014
Khalil MackBuffalo4.652014
Ronald PowellFlorida4.652014


Fastest NFL Combine Linebacker Times 2013
Zaviar GoodenMissouri4.472013
Cornelius WashingtonGeorgia4.552013
Jon BosticFlorida4.612013
Jamie CollinsSouthern Mississippi4.642013
Sio MooreConnecticut4.652013


Fastest NFL Combine Linebacker Times 2012
Mychal KendricksCalifornia4.472012
Zach BrownNorth Carolina4.502012
Luke KuechlyBoston College4.582012
Demario DavisArkansas State4.612012
Nigel BradhamFlorida State4.642012
Najee GoodeWest Virginia4.642012


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

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

Just for fun, I analyzed the careers of the all-time fastest 12 40 times for linebackers and it turns out, not at all.

Now, don’t get me wrong, running a fast 40 at any position doesn’t guarantee success in the NFL. There are countless amount of factors that go into play for a successful career, some of which are even completely out of control for the player.

But, having said that, for linebackers, the correlation for success is low even when compared to other positions.

There is only one Pro Bowl season (White) out of the entire group. While there are 3 first-round selections (Simmons 8th, White 5th, Bush 10th), over half the group went in the 3rd round or later.

5 of the players in the group are still currently active so this may change, but the longest careers out of the group are only 8 years long (Howard, Barnes). Compare that to the best Offensive Line 40 times where 6 of the top 10 played 9 years or longer.

So, if you’re looking for a ‘can’t miss’ indicator for the next hall-of-fame linebacker, you’ll need to look someplace else than at the 40-yard dash.

What’s a Good 40 Time for a College Football Linebacker?

Obviously, the times listed above are the elite of the elite. They’re definitely not indicative of all linebackers at the college level.

The short answer is anything under a 4.8 is pretty good.

The long answer is it depends on size, inside vs outside backer, etc. For more info check out my breakdown of 40 times for college football players.

Other Position Groups

If you enjoyed this deep dive into NFL Combine linebacker 40 times, you may be fired up to know that I’ve also done the same thing with other position groups as well.

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Final Thoughts

Keep in mind that not everyone who gets invited to the NFL Combine actually runs a 40 at the Combine. So, some players who 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 who would have put up fast times and had success at the NFL level that don’t receive an NFL Combine invite.


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