Can 40-Yard Dash Times Be Trusted This Year?

Can 40-Yard Dash Times Be Trusted This Year?
Washington wide receiver John Ross III, a former star at Jordan (Long Beach, Calif.) High, set the modern record with a 4.22 in the 40-yard dash at the 2017 NFL Combine. (Photo: Brian Spurlock/USA TODAY Sports)

The 2021 NFL combine was canceled due to Covid-19 and the NFL trying to minimize the spread as much as they can. Due to its being canceled, pro days and off-site workouts became much more critical. That especially is for when scouting prospects and there 40-yard dash times. It all comes down to if the scouts believe it by why you may or may not believe it.

Why You Can 

Some of these pro days are NFL scouts who are usually timing the 40-yard dash at the actual combine. These scouts have years and years of timing combines, so them being the only resource that can be trusted. At LSU pro day, Star wide receiver Jamar Chase ran a 4.38, and as well as his teammate Terrace Marshall Jr ran a 4.38 as well.

Jamar chase on film does not scream 4.38 speed, so this came as a surprise to many people. Star tight end Kyle Pitts ran a 4.46 unofficial 40-yard dash at his private workout and then ran around the same thing at this Florida pro day. Justin Fields ran a 4.44 40-yard dash at his pro day, running faster than guys such as Jalen Hurts, Cam Newton, and Russell Wilson

Why You Can’t

The NFL combine uses laser timers to record the 40-yard dash when it is held in Indianapolis every year. With pro days not having that type of technology, these 40 times are hand recorded. Being timed by a laser versus a human hand are two different things: the human can be a bit behind.

Caleb Farley, viewed by many as one of the best corners. Farley has been said to run a 4.2 at his private workout. Many have to take this with a grain of salt because nobody who is a trusted source can say it is true. Forty times are usually taken very seriously when it comes to NFL scouts. It has boosted draft stocks of guys like John Ross and Henry Ruggs in previous years. This year has had an alarming amount of 4.3 40 yard dashes or higher.


The 40-yard dash cannot be trusted because it was not timed as usual. The number of prospects running a 4.3 or 4.2’s is unlike any other year. The fact that it has raised an eyebrow too many, whether it is true or not, speaks to itself. Unlike previous years I do not see NFL scouts believing in this year’s 40-yard dash as much as they have before.

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