Fastest Wide Receiver 40 Times in NFL Combine History


All-Time Best Wide Receiver 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 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 Wide Receiver 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 Wide Receiver NFL Combine 40 Times All-Time

Fastest Wide Receiver Times in NFL Combine History
Player School Time Year
John Ross Washington 4.22 2017
Marquise Goodwin Texas 4.27 2013
Henry Ruggs III Alabama 4.27 2020
Jacoby Ford Clemson 4.28 2010
J.J. Nelson UAB 4.28 2015
Tyquan Thornton Baylor 4.28 2022
Darrius Heyward-Bey Maryland 4.30 2009
Parris Campbell Ohio State 4.31 2019
Andy Isabella UMass Amherst 4.31 2019
Curtis Samuel Ohio State 4.31 2017
Velus Jones Jr Tennessee 4.31 2022

Year By Year Top Wide Receiver 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 Wide Receiver that has run a 4.40 or faster.

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

2022

Fastest NFL Combine Wide Receiver Times 2022
Player School Time Year
Tyquan Thornton Baylor 4.28 2022
Velus Jones Jr Tennessee 4.31 2022
Calvin Austin III Memphis 4.32 2022
Danny Gray SMU 4.33 2022
Bo Melton Rutgers 4.34 2022
Christian Watson North Dakota State 4.36 2022
Garrett Wilson Ohio State 4.38 2022
Chris Olave Ohio State 4.39 2022

2020

Fastest NFL Combine Wide Receiver Times 2020
Player School Time Year
Henry Ruggs III Alabama 4.27 2020
Quez Watkins Southern Mississippi 4.35 2020
Denzel Mims Baylor 4.38 2020
Darnell Mooney Tulane 4.38 2020
Devin Duvernay Texas 4.39 2020
Antonio Gibson Memphis 4.39 2020

2019

 

Fastest NFL Combine Wide Receiver Times 2019
Player School Time Year
Parris Campbell Ohio State 4.31 2019
Andy Isabella UMass Amherst 4.31 2019
Mecole Hardman Georgia 4.33 2019
DK Metcalf Ole Miss 4.33 2019
Terry McLaurin Ohio State 4.35 2019
Emanuel Hall Missouri 4.39 2019
Darius Slayton Auburn 4.39 2019

2018

Fastest NFL Combine Wide Receiver Times 2018
Player School Time Year
D.J. Chark LSU 4.34 2018
Marquez Valdes-Scantling South Florida 4.37 2018
Antonio Callaway Florida 4.41 2018
Robert Foster Alabama 4.41 2018
D.J. Moore Maryland 4.42 2018

2017

Fastest NFL Combine Wide Receiver Times 2017
Player School Time Year
John Ross Washington 4.22 2017
Curtis Samuel Ohio State 4.31 2017
Josh Malone Tennessee 4.40 2017
Quincy Adeboyejo Ole Miss 4.42 2017
Chris Godwin Penn State 4.42 2017
Isaiah McKenzie Georgia 4.42 2017
Michael Rector Stanford 4.42 2017

2016

Fastest NFL Combine Wide Receiver Times 2016
Player School Time Year
Will Fuller Notre Dame 4.32 2016
Kolby Listenbee TCU 4.39 2016
Trevor Davis California 4.42 2016
Ricardo Louis Auburn 4.43 2016
Malcolm Mitchell Georgia 4.45 2016
Charone Peake Clemson 4.45 2016

2015

Fastest NFL Combine Wide Receiver Times 2015
Player School Time Year
J.J. Nelson UAB 4.28 2015
Phillip Dorsett Miami 4.33 2015
Chris Conley Georgia 4.35 2015
Kevin White West Virginia 4.35 2015
Tyler Lockett Kansas State 4.40 2015

2014

Fastest NFL Combine Wide Receiver Times 2014
Player School Time Year
Brandin Cooks Oregon State 4.33 2014
John Brown Pittsburgh State 4.34 2014
Donte Moncrief Ole Miss 4.40 2014
Paul Richardson Colorado 4.40 2014
Martavis Bryant Clemson 4.42 2014
Jeff Janis Saginaw Valley State 4.42 2014

2013

Fastest NFL Combine Wide Receiver Times 2013
Player School Time Year
Marquise Goodwin Texas 4.27 2013
Tavon Austin West Virginia 4.34 2013
Ryan Swope Texas A&M 4.34 2013
Josh Boyce TCU 4.38 2013
Kenny Stills Oklahoma 4.38 2013

2012

Fastest NFL Combine Wide Receiver Times 2012
Player School Time Year
Travis Benjamin Miami 4.36 2012
Stephen Hill Georgia Tech 4.36 2012
Chris Owusu Stanford 4.36 2012
Devin Wylie Fresno State 4.39 2012
A.J. Jenkins Illinois 4.39 2012
Tommy Streeter Miami 4.40 2012

FAQ

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

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

I wouldn’t say it guarantees success, but it definitely seems to at least give you a shot.

I took the top 11 all-time 40s and looked at where (or if) they were drafted, how long of a career they had in the NFL and any pro bowls and/or awards they received while playing. Here’s what I found out:

Having a really fast 40 time as a wide receiver will at least get you drafted, rather high as well. All 11 were drafted and 9 of the top 11 were drafted within the first 3 rounds.

It also appears to give you some longevity as well. Not counting Thornton and Jones Jr (both rookies in 2022), every player in the top 11 but one played at least 3 years in the league. 6 of the top 11 are still active in the NFL as of the 2022 season.

On the other hand, I was surprised that despite all of this obvious physical talent and the high draft picks, there has not been a single pro bowl selection out of the top 11 (at least not yet).

So, I would say, having great straight-ahead speed is obviously an extremely helpful attribute for a wide receiver, there are many other factors that go into being an elite receiver in the NFL.

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 don’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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