All-Time Best Wide Receiver 40 Times

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

Fastest Wide Receiver Times in NFL Combine History
John RossWashington4.222017
Marquise GoodwinTexas4.272013
Henry Ruggs IIIAlabama4.272020
Jacoby FordClemson4.282010
J.J. NelsonUAB4.282015
Tyquan ThorntonBaylor4.282022
Darrius Heyward-BeyMaryland4.302009
Parris CampbellOhio State4.312019
Andy IsabellaUMass Amherst4.312019
Curtis SamuelOhio State4.312017
Velus Jones JrTennessee4.312022

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 2023 NFL Combine


Fastest NFL Combine Wide Receiver Times 2023
Trey PalmerNebraska4.332023
Derius DavisTCU4.362023
Matt LandersArkansas4.372023
Bryce Ford-WheatonWest Virginia4.382023
Marvin Mims JrOklahoma4.382023

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


Fastest NFL Combine Wide Receiver Times 2022
Tyquan ThorntonBaylor4.282022
Velus Jones JrTennessee4.312022
Calvin Austin IIIMemphis4.322022
Danny GraySMU4.332022
Bo MeltonRutgers4.342022
Christian WatsonNorth Dakota State4.362022
Garrett WilsonOhio State4.382022
Chris OlaveOhio State4.392022


Fastest NFL Combine Wide Receiver Times 2020
Henry Ruggs IIIAlabama4.272020
Quez WatkinsSouthern Mississippi4.352020
Denzel MimsBaylor4.382020
Darnell MooneyTulane4.382020
Devin DuvernayTexas4.392020
Antonio GibsonMemphis4.392020


Fastest NFL Combine Wide Receiver Times 2019
Parris CampbellOhio State4.312019
Andy IsabellaUMass Amherst4.312019
Mecole HardmanGeorgia4.332019
DK MetcalfOle Miss4.332019
Terry McLaurinOhio State4.352019
Emanuel HallMissouri4.392019
Darius SlaytonAuburn4.392019


Fastest NFL Combine Wide Receiver Times 2018
D.J. CharkLSU4.342018
Marquez Valdes-ScantlingSouth Florida4.372018
Antonio CallawayFlorida4.412018
Robert FosterAlabama4.412018
D.J. MooreMaryland4.422018


Fastest NFL Combine Wide Receiver Times 2017
John RossWashington4.222017
Curtis SamuelOhio State4.312017
Josh MaloneTennessee4.402017
Quincy AdeboyejoOle Miss4.422017
Chris GodwinPenn State4.422017
Isaiah McKenzieGeorgia4.422017
Michael RectorStanford4.422017


Fastest NFL Combine Wide Receiver Times 2016
Will FullerNotre Dame4.322016
Kolby ListenbeeTCU4.392016
Trevor DavisCalifornia4.422016
Ricardo LouisAuburn4.432016
Malcolm MitchellGeorgia4.452016
Charone PeakeClemson4.452016


Fastest NFL Combine Wide Receiver Times 2015
J.J. NelsonUAB4.282015
Phillip DorsettMiami4.332015
Chris ConleyGeorgia4.352015
Kevin WhiteWest Virginia4.352015
Tyler LockettKansas State4.402015


Fastest NFL Combine Wide Receiver Times 2014
Brandin CooksOregon State4.332014
John BrownPittsburgh State4.342014
Donte MoncriefOle Miss4.402014
Paul RichardsonColorado4.402014
Martavis BryantClemson4.422014
Jeff JanisSaginaw Valley State4.422014


Fastest NFL Combine Wide Receiver Times 2013
Marquise GoodwinTexas4.272013
Tavon AustinWest Virginia4.342013
Ryan SwopeTexas A&M4.342013
Josh BoyceTCU4.382013
Kenny StillsOklahoma4.382013


Fastest NFL Combine Wide Receiver Times 2012
Travis BenjaminMiami4.362012
Stephen HillGeorgia Tech4.362012
Chris OwusuStanford4.362012
Devin WylieFresno State4.392012
A.J. JenkinsIllinois4.392012
Tommy StreeterMiami4.402012


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, that 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.

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