Chris Johnson’s legendary 4.24 40-yard dash is no longer the record at the NFL combine after Washington wide receiver John Ross was officially clocked at 4.22 seconds, the fastest time ever at the event:
The BEST 40 time in #NFLCombine History.— NFL Network (@nflnetwork) March 4, 2017
4.22 -- John Ross.
The bar has been raised. https://t.co/ZiwKkuLwi5
According to the NFL Network broadcast, Ross told Michael Irvin and Steve Smith that he was feeling cramps prior to the run but did the event anyway and limped off after finishing. He believes he may have been able to run faster, if healthy.
The 40-yard dash record is the most famous of the NFL combine marks, and Johnson’s stood since 2008. After Ross’s run, Johnson reacted on Twitter, along with many other prominent NFL figures:
— Chris Johnson (@ChrisJohnson28) March 4, 2017
@watchjross congrats— Chris Johnson (@ChrisJohnson28) March 4, 2017
There are legends of even better times by players like Bo Jackson and Deion Sanders, but there are no recorded times for that era.
Adidas has promised a private island to any draft prospect who is able to beat Johnson’s mark, although there are stipulations that mean Ross isn’t the owner of some beachfront property. He also disqualified himself by wearing Nike cleats for the run.
Johnson has parlayed his explosive speed into a successful NFL career, earning three trips to the Pro Bowl and racking up 9,537 career yards, including 2,006 yards in 2009. Other players, like Dri Archer, haven’t been as successful.
Ross was highly productive at Washington with 1,150 receiving yards and 17 touchdowns in 2016. He is considered by most to be a first-round prospect, with Corey Davis and Mike Williams as the other top receivers in the draft class.