Fastest Safety 40 Times at NFL Combine All-Time


Fastest Safety 40 Times at 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 skill players, 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 Safety 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 Safety NFL Combine 40 Times All-Time

Fastest Safety Times in NFL Combine History
Player School Time Year
Zedrick Woods Ole Miss 4.29 2019
Nick Cross Maryland 4.34 2022
Troy Apke Penn State 4.34 2018
Josh Barrett Arizona State 4.34 2008
Darnell Savage Maryland 4.36 2019
Percy Butler Louisiana 4.36 2022
JT Woods Baylor 4.36 2022
Tycen Anderson Toledo 4.36 2022
LaRon Landry LSU 4.37 2007
L’Jarius Sneed Louisiana Tech 4.37 2020
Lewis Cine Georgia 4.37 2022

Year By Year Top Safety 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 Safety that has run a 4.40 or faster.

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

2022

Fastest NFL Combine Safety Times 2022
Player School Time Year
Nick Cross Maryland 4.34 2022
Percy Butler Louisiana 4.36 2022
JT Woods Baylor 4.36 2022
Tycen Anderson Toledo 4.36 2022
Lewis Cine Georgia 4.37 2022
Daxton Hill Michigan 4.38 2022

2020

Fastest NFL Combine Safety Times 2020
Player School Time Year
L’Jarius Sneed Louisiana Tech 4.37 2020
Tanner Muse Clemson 4.41 2020
Jeremy Chinn Southern Illinois 4.45 2020
Antoine Winfield Jr. Minnesota 4.45 2020
Terrell Burgess Utah 4.46 2020

2019

Fastest NFL Combine Safety Times 2019
Player School Time Year
Zedrick Woods Ole Miss 4.29 2019
Darnell Savage Maryland 4.36 2019
Will Harris Boston College 4.41 2019
Juan Thornhill Virginia 4.42 2019
Sheldrick Redwine Miami 4.44 2019

2018

Fastest NFL Combine Safety Times 2018
Player School Time Year
Troy Apke Penn State 4.34 2018
Natrell Jamerson Wisconsin 4.40 2018
Justin Reid Stanford 4.40 2018
Dane Cruikshank Arizona 4.41 2018
Godwin Igwebuike Northwestern 4.44 2018

2017

Fastest NFL Combine Safety Times 2017
Player School Time Year
Obi Melifonwu Connecticut 4.40 2017
Josh Jones N.C. State 4.41 2017
Montae Nicholson Michigan State 4.42 2017
Budda Baker Washington 4.45 2017
Rayshawn Jenkins Miami 4.51 2017

2016

Fastest NFL Combine Safety Times 2016
Player School Time Year
K.J. Dillon West Virginia 4.53 2016
Elijah Shumate Notre Dame 4.58 2016
Jayron Kearse Clemson 4.62 2016
Deon Bush Miami 4.64 2016
Darian Thompson Boise State 4.69 2016

2015

*NFL.com doesn’t list results for safeties for 2015. I’m working on tracking down these numbers. Will update here when I get them.

Fastest NFL Combine Safety Times 2015
Player School Time Year
2015
2015
2015
2015
2015

2014

*NFL.com doesn’t list results for safeties for 2014. I’m working on tracking down these numbers. Will update here when I get them.

Fastest NFL Combine Safety Times 2014
Player School Time Year
2014
2014
2014
2014
2014

2013

*NFL.com doesn’t list results for safeties for 2013. I’m working on tracking down these numbers. Will update here when I get them.

Fastest NFL Combine Safety Times 2013
Player School Time Year
2013
2013
2013
2013
2013

2012

Fastest NFL Combine Safety Times 2012
Player School Time Year
Christian Thompson South Carolina State 4.50 2012
Sean Richardson Vanderbilt 4.52 2012
Trent Robinson Michigan State 4.52 2012
Kelcie McCray Arkansas State 4.54 2012
Corey White Samford 4.55 2012

FAQ

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

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

Of course, it doesn’t guarantee success – success in the NFL can depend on an array of different factors, many of which have nothing to do with physical ability.

However, just for fun, I looked at the careers of the 11 fastest safety 40 times to see if it was a solid indicator of players having success at the next level. This is something I’ve done with every position group (here are the cornerback times), but safeties presented a unique challenge.

All but 2 of the times have been run within the last 4 or 5 years including 5 that were run at the 2022 combine. This means most of these guys haven’t had time to produce a “career” yet. (8 of the 11 are still active.)

There were a few things I found interesting.

Number one was the fact that Zedrick Woods, the fastest safety of all time at the combine was not drafted and had no career in the NFL. Why a safety talented enough to be invited to the combine and then ran a 4.29 wasn’t drafted I have no clue. But, it seems a chronic turf toe injury is what led him to retire before he got a chance to even begin his career.

3 of the top 11 guys were drafted in the 1st round (Savage 21st overall, Landry 6th, Cine 32nd) and Landry currently has the only pro bowl selection out of the group.

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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