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2024 NFL Scouting Combine: Who will run the fastest 40-yard dash in Indianapolis? Twenty names to know

If you want to be the 2024 NFL Scouting Combine 40-yard dash king, you're probably going to have to run that distance in under 4.3 seconds.

John Ross' combine record of 4.22 seconds has held up for six years running, but seven other NFL prospects have run sub-4.3 40-yard dashes since then. And a handful of prospects in the 2024 NFL Draft class might be able to hit the 4.2s this week in Indianapolis.

Typically, the fastest sprinters come from the wide receivers and defensive backs, with running backs a distant third, and this draft crop is no different. That said, this year's competition appears wide open.

One top candidate, Iowa CB Cooper DeJean, reportedly is still rehabbing from injury and won't run or work out at the combine. Miami WR Tyler Harrell, one of the fastest men in college sports, will have to wait until his pro day to run, as he wasn't one of the 321 prospects invited to the combine.

So, who will be the '24 combine's sprinting champ? Here are 20 of the top names to watch.

Jaylen Wright
Tennessee · RB

Wright might be flying a bit under the radar because he didn't have a ton of work in college, after having his senior season in high school canceled because of the COVID-19 pandemic. But Wright was still able to flash his track speed in high school with a scalding 55-meter time of 6.29 seconds, which was tops in the country at the time. According to The Athletic's Bruce Feldman, Wright also has been measured at 23.6 mph on GPS and could be a standout in the jumping drills if his past work (44-inch vertical, 10-foot-8 broad, per Feldman) is any indication. 

Daequan Hardy
Penn State · CB

The high school track star became a return ace for the Nittany Lions, with a pick-six in 2021 and two punt-return touchdowns vs. UMass last season. He also showed off his speed at the East-West Shrine Bowl and could be a real contender on the Lucas Oil Stadium track. 

"He'd be my bet for fastest player overall," Shrine Bowl director of football operations and player personnel Eric Galko said.

Roman Wilson
Michigan · WR

Some might argue that Wilson is quicker than he is truly straight-line fast, but he ran a 4.37 40-yard dash at The Opening in 2019, which was the fastest time at that event, and logged a 4.33-second 40-yard dash last spring out of a two-point stance, according to Feldman, while also putting up electric numbers in the three-cone drill (6.20 seconds) and short shuttle (3.77 seconds). Speed appears to be in Wilson's DNA, as his mother, Colleen Colegrove, was a former high school track star.

Anthony Gould
Oregon State · WR

Gould will be in the running for the combine's 40-yard gold, having recorded a catch of 25-plus yards in seven of his 11 games last season for the Beavers. He can absolutely turn on the gas when he gets a runway, such as on this 80-yard punt return in the East-West Shrine Bowl. Colleague Chad Reuter listed Gould as a Shrine Bowl standout, and a smoking 40 could bump his stock even further.

Xavier Worthy
Texas · WR

He ran a 10.55-second 100-meter dash in high school and reportedly has been timed at 4.29 seconds in the 40-yard dash. Worthy certainly was flying on his punt-return TD vs. BYU last season, and he'll be one of the better-known competitors in this event.

Carlton Johnson
Fresno State · CB

Johnson is among the lighter prospects in this year's class (checking in at 169 pounds a month ago in Mobile), but he can really scoot. After a four-INT season, he earned a Senior Bowl invite and made the most of it by recording the fastest practice time (22.17 mph) by Zebra Technologies -- almost one full mile per hour quicker than the next-speediest player. 

"The fact that he was the second-fastest Senior Bowler in the past seven years, behind only Tariq Woolen, is noteworthy," Senior Bowl executive director Jim Nagy said.

Woolen ran a 4.26 at the combine two years ago.

Tyler Owens
Texas Tech · DB

One of the fastest players in college football over the past few seasons, Owens ran a 10.29 100-meter dash in high school, which makes him a candidate for a top-five 40 finish at the combine. He's also well put together, checking in at 6-foot-2 1/8 and 213 pounds at the Shrine Bowl.

Isaac Guerendo
Louisville · RB
Jawhar Jordan
Louisville · RB

Similar to one year ago, when Cincinnati teammates Tyler Scott and Tre Tucker made this watch list, two Cardinals backs figure to be competing for the best combine 40. Guerendo and Jordan have debated who is the fastest between them, and they now have a stage on which to settle it once and for all.

Guerendo was a three-time state champ in track (100-meter dash,, long jump and 4x100 relay) at Avon High School, coincidentally located just outside of Indianapolis. A prep star who earned an Indiana Mr. Football position award as the state’s top wide receiver, the explosive weapon converted to running back in college. After spending four years at Wisconsin, Guerendo transferred to Louisville and was a standout for the Cardinals. Don't sleep on Guerendo's speed despite the likelihood that he checks in around 220 pounds.

Jordan is also a former high school sprinter. In college, he posted kick-return touchdowns in 2021 and '22 and averaged 6.2 yards per rush attempt in 2023, with 13 TDs. If you want to see the 185-pounder cooking, check out this 72-yard TD run against Murray State

Lideatrick Griffin
Mississippi State · WR

He goes by "Tulu," which is short for "too loose," and you can see that on display in his game-opening, 100-yard kickoff return for a TD in 2021 vs. North Carolina State. (Shoot, Griffin didn't even need his top gear to score on that play.) Galko estimates Griffin will be in the high-4.2 or low-4.3 range in Indianapolis.

Quinyon Mitchell
Toledo · CB

The possible top-20 pick could seal a slot in that draft range with a strong display in Indy, and few are expecting anything less. He was a standout at the Senior Bowl and is considered to be one of the better athletes, pound for pound, in this entire class. That said, breaking the 4.3-second mark would be a Herculean feat for the 6-foot 3/8, 195-pound cover man.

Nate Wiggins
Clemson · CB

Like Mitchell, Wiggins is a top prospect and an elite athletic specimen capable of cracking Round 1. He logged pick-sixes in each of the past two seasons, including this 98-yarder against Drake Maye and North Carolina in 2022. But if you really want to see Wiggins fly, check out his amazing chase and forced fumble against the Tar Heels last season. Can Wiggins turn on the afterburners again this week?

M.J. Devonshire
Pittsburgh · DB

The former Pennsylvania high school state champ in the 100- and 200-meter dashes transferred from Kentucky to Pitt, where he scored four TDs over the past two seasons (three INT returns, one punt return), becoming the first Panther to score via punt return and INT in the same season since Hall of Famer Darrelle Revis in 2006. Devonshire might be a sleeper, but don't overlook his jets.

Keilan Robinson
Texas · RB

With fewer than 200 college touches combined at Alabama and Texas, Robinson hasn't had as many opportunities to flash his game-changing speed as some others on this list. But this 95-yard kickoff return against Texas Tech is a taste of what the man can do in the open field.

Devontez Walker
North Carolina · WR

"Tez" is a vertical threat whose 2023 season was abbreviated, due to his eligibility as a two-time transfer initially being denied by the NCAA. But once he got on the field, Walker roasted defenses for seven TDs in his eight games, flashing his easy speed several times. He also ran very fast at Senior Bowl practices, so that should translate well to the 40 in Indy.

Xavier Legette
South Carolina · WR

Bet against the 223-pounder at your own peril. Watch him pull away from the entire Mississippi State secondary on this 76-yard catch-and-run score; you can see what a head of steam Legette is able to build up in a hurry.

Trey Benson
Florida State · RB

You might be surprised to see the 223-pound Benson on this list, but give him a straightaway and he absolutely can roll, such as on one TD against Virginia Tech where he hit 22.0 mph, via Reel Analytics (and Benson reached 21.1 mph earlier in that game).

Rome Odunze
Washington · WR

It's easy to underestimate Odunze's speed because of the way he glides on the football field. Topping the 40-yard dash times will be very difficult for the 6-3, 215-pounder, despite the fact that he's a former high school state champ in the 200 meters and 4x100 relay. Still, Rome's a certified freak of an athlete who is capable of sealing up a top-10 selection with a great all-around workout.

Kris Abrams-Draine
Missouri · CB

KAD was second to Johnson in the Zebra on-field speed testing down in Mobile at 21.34 mph, following a strong career with the Tigers. He's a verified playmaker (seven INTs and 34 PDs in the past three years), but his long speed was best on display on this kickoff-return TD against Tennessee in 2021.

Will Shipley
Clemson · RB

Shipley won't be among the top favorites in this event, but the North Carolina native won the indoor state championship in the 55-meter dash (6.36 seconds) in the only year he ran high school track. If Shipley can match that pace -- now apparently at 210 pounds, mind you -- he might shock people with a time in the 4.3-second range.

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