South Carolina Gamecocks defensive end and highly touted NFL prospect Jadeveon Clowney is readying for the combine, and he's looking to turn heads. Clowney, who could be the top pick in the NFL Draft this May, has expressed his desire to run an impressive 40-yard dash time, per Yahoo! Sports' Anwar S. Richardson.
"I hope to run a 4.4 (second) right now," Clowney said. "That’s my goal. On hand times, I’ve been running 4.4s. I hope I can get a 4.4 at the combine. A 4.5, I’m not too worried about … I ain’t going to run a 4.6. I’m probably going to run low 4.5, 4.4."
Clowney's best attribute on the football field, among many, is his immense amount of athletic ability. It would not be a surprise if Clowney is the fastest defensive end in Indianapolis come Feb. 22, but a 4.4 time? That would truly be beyond words. Last spring, Clowney was reportedly running a 4.54 40-yard dash after putting on 17 pounds.
In the history of the NFL Combine, which began in its current form in 1982 (electronic timing was introduced in 1999), the fastest time ever run by a defensive end was by 4.43 by Manny Lawson in 2006. Lawson is now a linebacker, but was listed as a defensive end at the time.
Some other notable times came via Bruce Irvin (4.50) in 2011 and Robert Quinn (4.62) in 2010, of the Seattle Seahawks and St. Louis Rams respectively. Back in 2005, DeMarcus Ware ran a 4.56 time before being drafted in the first round by the Dallas Cowboys.
In 2002, Dwight Freeney ran a 4.48 40-time, although it was not official because it did not take place at the combine.