Everyone out of the way – the fastest man in the NFL might be available in this year's draft.
Chris Johnson’s record 40-yard dash time has finally met its match.
Former Washington wide receiver John Ross posted an official time of 4.22 seconds at the NFL Scouting Combine on Saturday.
The record-breaking sprint was initially an unofficial timing, but has recently been confirmed by officials at the Combine.
Johnson’s record time of 4.24 seconds set in 2008 has been the gold standard at the NFL Scouting Combine for all players who pride themselves on their speed. But for almost 10 years, Johnson’s record had stood.
— NFL (@NFL) 4 марта 2017 г.
Ross, one of the top receivers available in the draft, will almost certainly cement his status as first round pick in this year’s NFL draft with that kind of blazing speed. A certified deep threat in college, Ross made waves this season with 81 catches for 1150 yards and 17 touchdowns as Jake Browning’s go-to receiver. Before the combine, Ross predicted that he would run the 40-yard dash in under 4.3 seconds.
Now he's alone at the top of the speed podium for this rookie class.
While Ross won’t win the private island that Adidas offered to anyone who beat Chris Johnson’s record wearing Adidas cleats (Ross wore Nike shoes), his outstanding speed will still set him apart amongst this year’s wide receiver class featuring big-bodied threats like Clemson’s Mike Williams and Western Michigan’s Corey Davis. Neither Williams nor Davis will be running the 40-yard dash for different reasons, which could help Ross stand out even more.
Teams like the Philadelphia Eagles and the Tennessee Titans have been cited as being in the market for a wide receiver this offseason and could be potential landing spots for Ross in the draft. Recent RealSport mock drafts don’t have Ross going in the first round at all.
Ross appeared to pull up with a limp after running his unofficial 40-yard dash, so it’s yet to be seen what the receiver will participate in for the rest of the day. Medicals remain one of the bigger concerns about Ross.
But Ross has cemented himself as a legend at the combine – and has set a new mark for rookies of the future to chase down.
According to the great Hunter S. Thompson, Oakland Raiders icon Al Davis once said "Speed kills. You can't teach speed. Everything else in the game can be taught, but speed is a gift from God."
And Ross has more than enough to make a mark in the NFL.